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  CSPAN    Capitol Hill Hearings    News/Business.  

    November 14, 2012
    8:00 - 1:00am EST  

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friday's deadline for health insurance exchanges under the affordable care act. "washington journal" is live on c-span every day at 7:00 a.m. eastern. >> the miami book fair international this live this weekend with two days of nonfiction books, often news, your calls, females, and tweets. we will look at christopher kitchen -- hitches' posthumous book. our live coverage start on saturday at 10:00 a.m. and sunday at noon. john also -- join us online at facebook.com/book to be. >> he was vice president for 82 days. truman presided over the senate.
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nowadays the vice president does not do that unless his vote is needed to break a tie. truman never learned anything from zero fdr or his staff. it was a transition zero knowledge that this not happen anymore. got a phone call from the white house. it to the phone right away. i pick up the phone. at the other and they said -- to the white house as soon as you can. he grabbed his hat. he-out. - he dashed out. they had a car for him. he went to the white house. he was taken to the second floor, which was the family f loor. he looked up and said -- harry, the president is dead. he was in total shock.
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he said -- what can i do for you? she said -- harry, what can we do for you? you are in trouble now. >> from his early life through his presidency aida donald looks at the light of harry truman's sunday night at 8. >> president obama spoke with reporters today. this is his first news conference since early this year. >> good afternoon, everybody. please have a seat. i hear you have some questions for me. but let me just make a few remarks at the top and then i'll open it up. first of all, i want to reiterate what i said on friday. right now, our economy is still recovering from a very deep and damaging crisis.
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so our top priority has to be jobs and growth. we've got to build on the progress that we've made. because this nation succeeds when we've got a growing, thriving middle class. and that's the idea at the core of the plan that i talked about on the campaign trail over the last year, rewarding manufacturers and small businesses that create jobs here, not overseas, providing more americans the chance to earn skills that businesses are looking for right now. keeping this country at the forefront of research, technology, and clean energy, putting people back to work rebuilding roads, bridges and schools and reducing our deficit in a balanced and responsible way. on this last item, we face a very clear deadline. that requires us to make some big decisions on jobs, taxes, and deficits by the end of the year. both parties voted to set this deadline. and i believe that both parties can work together to make these decisions in a balanced and responsible way. to meet with labor and civic leaders for their input. today i meet with c.e.o.'s of some of america's largest companies.
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and i'll meet with leaders of both party of congress before the week is out because there's only one way to solve the channels and that is to do it together. as i've said before, i'm open to compromise and i'm hope to new ideas. and i've been encouraged over the last week to hear republican after republican agree on the need for more revenue from the wealthiest americans as part of our arithmetic if we're serious about reducing the deficit. because when it comes to taxes, there are two pathways available. option one, if congress fails to act by the end of this year, everybody's taxes will automatically go up, including the 98% of americans who make less than $250,000 a year and the 97% of small businesses who earn less than $250,000 a year. that doesn't make sense. our economy can't afford that right now. certainly no middle class family can afford that right now. and nobody in either party says
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they want it to happen. the other option is to pass a law right now that would prevent any tax hike whatsoever on the first $250,000 of everybody's income. and by the way that means every american including the wealthiest americans get a tax cut. it means that 9 -- 9 % of all americans and 97% of all small businesses won't see their taxes go up a single dime. the senate has already passed a law like this. democrats in the house are ready to pass a law like this. i hope republicans in the house come on board too. we should not hold the middle class hostage while we debate tax cuts for the wealthy. we should at least do what we agree on and that's to keep middle class taxes lower. and i'll bring everyone in to sign it right away so we can give folks some certainty before the holiday season. i won't pretend that figuring out everything else will be easy but i'm confident we can do it.
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i know we have. to i know that that's what the american people want us to do. that was the very clear message from the election last week. that was message of a letter i received over the weekend. it came from a man in tennessee who began by writing that he didn't vote for me. which is ok. but what he said was, even though he didn't give me his vote, he's giving me his support to move this country forward. and he said the same to his republican representatives in washington. he said that he'll back each of us regardless of party as long as we work together to make life better for all of us. he made it clear that if we don't make enough progress he'll be back in touch. so my hope, he wrote, is that we can make progress in light of personal and party principles, special interest groups and years of business as usual. we've got to work together and put our differences aside.
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i couldn't say it better myself. that's precisely what i intend to do. with that, let me open it up for your questions. i'm going to start off with ben of a.p. >> thank you, mr. president. can you assure the american people that there have been no breaches of national security in the scandal involving generals petraeus and allen and do you think you and as commander in chief and the american people should have been told of the investigation before the election? >> i have no evidence from what i've seen that classified information was disclosed that in any way would have had a negative impact on our national security.
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obviously, there's an ongoing investigation. i don't want to comment on the specifics of the investigation. the f.b.i. has its own protocols in terms of how they proceed. i'm going to let director mueller and others examine those protocols and make some statements to the public generally. i do want to emphasize what i've said before. yen petraeus had an extraordinary career. he served this country with great distinction in iraq, in afghanistan, and as head of the c.i.a. by his own assessment, he did not meet the standards that he felt were necessary as the director of the c.i.a. with respect to this personal matter he's now dealing with with his family and with his wife. it's on that basis that he tendered his resignation and it's on that basis that i accepted it.
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but i want to emphasize that from my perspective at least, he has provided this country an extraordinary service. we are safer because of the work that dave petraeus has done and my main hope right now is that he and his family are able to move on and that this ends up being a single side note on what has otherwise been an extraordinary career. >> what about voters? do they deserve to know? >> i think you'll to sr. to talk to the f.b.i. in terms of what their yen protocols are when it comes to what started off as a potential criminal investigation. one of the challenges here is, is that we're not supposed to meddle in criminal investigations. that's been our practice. and i think that there are certain procedures that the f.b.i. follow or d.o.j. follow when they're involved in these investigations.
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that's traditionally been how we do thins in part because people are innocent until proven guilty and we want to make sure we don't prejudge these kinds of situations and so my expectation is that they follow protocols they already established. jessica? >> mr. president, on the fiscal cliff two years ago, sir you said you wouldn't extend the bush era tax cuts put at the end of the day you did. so respectfully, sir, why should the american people and the republicans believe that you won't cave again this time? >> well, two years ago, the economy was in a different situation. we were still very much in the early parts of recovering from the worst economic crisis since the great depression.
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and ultimately we came together not only to extend the bush tax cuts but also a wide range of policies that were going to be good for the economy at that point. unemployment insurance extensions, payroll tax extensions, all of which made a difference and is part of the reason why what we've seen now as 32 consecutive months of job growth and 5.5 million job crease ated and the unemployment rate coming down. but what i said at the time is what i meant. which is this was a one-time proposition. and what i have told leaders privately as well as publicly is that we cannot afford to extend the bush tax cuts for the wealthy. what we can do is make sure that middle class taxes don't go up. and so, the most important step we can take right now, and i think the foundation for a deal
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that helps the economy, creates jobs, gives consumers certainty which means gives businesses confidence that they're going to have consumers during the holiday season, is if we right away say 9 % of americans are not going to see their taxes go up. 97% of small businesses are not going to see their taxes go up. if we get that in place, we are actually removing half of the fiscal cliff. half of the danger to our economy is removed by that single step. and what we can then do is shape a process whereby we look at tax reform, which i'm very eager to do, i think we can simplify our tax system. i think we can make it more efficient. we can eliminate loopholes and deductions that have a distorting effect on our economy.
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i believe that we have to continue to take a serious look at how we reform our entitlements because health care costs continue to be the biggest driver of our deficits. so there is a package to be shaped and i'm confident that parties, folks of good will in both parties can make that happen, but what i'm not going to do is to extend bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% that we can't afford and according to economists will have the least positive impact on our economy. >> you've said that the wealthiest must pay more. would closing loopholes instead of raising rates for them satisfy you? >> i think that there are loopholes that can be closed and
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we should look at how we can make the process of deductions, filing process, easier, simpler. but when it comes to the top 2%, what i'm not going to do is to extend further a tax cut for folks who don't need it, which would cost close to $1 trillion. and it's very difficult to see how you make up that $1 trillion if we're serious about deaf silt reduction just by closing loopholes and deductions. the math tends not to work. and i think it's important to establish a basic principle that was debated extensively in the course of this campaign. this shouldn't be a surprise to anybody. this was, if there was one thing that everybody understood, was a big difference between myself and mr. romney, it was when it comes to how we reduce our deficit, i argued for a balanced, responsible approach
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and part of that included making sure that the wealthiest americans pay a little bit more. i think every voter out there understood that that was an important debate and the majority of voters agreed with me. more voters agreed with me on this issue than voted for me. so we've got a clear majority of the american people who recognize if we're going to be serious about deficit reduction, we've got to do it in a balanced way. the only question now is, are we going to hold the middle class hostage in order to go ahead and let that happen? or can we all step back and say, here's something we agree on. we don't want middle class taxes to go up. let's go ahead and lock that in. that will be good for the economy. it will be good for consumers. it will be good for businesses. it takes the edge off the fiscal cliff. and let's also then commit ourselves to the broader package of deficit reduction that includes entitlement changes and includes potentially tax reform as well as, i'm willing to look at additional work we can do on the discretionary spending side. i want a big deal, i want a comprehensive deal, i want to see if we can, you know, at
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least for the foreseeable future provide certainty to business and the american people so we can focus on job growth so that we're also investing in the things that we need. but right now, what i want to make sure of is that taxes on middle class families don't go up and there's an easy way to do that. we could get that done by next week. >> thank you, mr. president. on immigration reform, the criticism in the past has been that you did not put forth legislation with specific ideas and send it up to the hill. this time around you have said again that this will be one of the top priorities for a second term. will you then send legislation to the hill? and exactly what do you envision as broad immigration reform? does it include a legalization program?
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and also what lessons, if any, did democrats learn from this last election and the latino vote? >> well, i think what was incredibly encouraging was to see a significant increase in latino turnout. it is the fastest growing group in the country. and historically, what you've seen is latino vote at lower rates than the broader population. and that's beginning to change. you're starting to see a sense of empowerment and civic participation that i think is going to be powerful and good for the country. and it is why i'm very confident that we can get immigration reform done. before the election i had given -- given a couple of interviews where i predicted the latino vote would be strong and that would cause some reflection on the part of republicans about their position on immigration reform.
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i think we're starting to see that already. i think that's a positive sign. this is not historically been a partisan issue. we've had president bush and john mccain and others who have supported comprehensive immigration reform in the past. we need to seize the moment. my expectation is that we get a bill introduced and we begin the possess in congress very soon after my inauguration. some conversations i think are already beginning to take place among senators and congressmen and my staff about what would this look like? and when i say comprehensive immigration reform is very similar to the outlined of previous efforts of immigration reform. i think it should include a continuation of the strong border security measures we've take . we have to secure our borders. i think it should contain serious penalties for companies that are purposely hiring undocumented workers and taking advantage of them.
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and i do think that there should be a pathway for legal status for those who are living in this country, are not engaged in criminal activity, are here simply to work, it's important for them to pay back taxes, it's important for them to learn english, it's porn for them to potentially pay a fine but to give them the avenue whereby they can resolve their legal status here in this country i think is very important. obviously making sure that we put in the law what the first step we've taken administratively dealing with the dream act kids is very important as well. one thing i'm very clear about is that young people who are brought here through no fault of their own, who have gone to school here, pledge aid lieges to our flag, want to serve in our military, want to go to school and contribute to our society, that they shouldn't be under the cloud of deportation. this we should give them every opportunity to earn their citizenship. and so there are other components to it obviously.
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the business community continues to be concerned about getting enough high skilled workers and i am a believer that if you've got a ph.d. in physics or computer science who wants to stay here and start a business here, we shouldn't make it harder for him to stay here, we should try to encourage him contribute to this society. i think that the agricultural sector has very specific concerns about making sure they've got a work force that helps deliver food to our tables. there are going to be a bunch of components to it but i think whatever process we have needs to make sure border security is strong, needs to deal with employers effectively, needs to provide a pathway for the undocumented here, needs to deal with the dream act kids, and i think that's something we can get done. chuck todd. where's chuck? >> mr. president, i want to follow up on a couple of -- both ben's question and jessica's
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question. strog do with ben's question -- >> how about the other question? >> i feel like you answered that one completely. are you withholding judgment on whether you should have known sooner that there was an investigation into whether your c.i.a. director, potentially there was a national security breach with your c.i.a. director. do you believe you should have known sooner or are you withholding judgment on that front. and the followup to jessica's question, tax rates. is there no deal at the end of the year if the tax raters in 2% are not clinton level tax rate, is that -- is there no negotiation there.
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>> i am withholding judgment with respect to how the entire process surrounding general petraeus came up. we don't have all the information yet. but i want to say that i have a lot of confidence, generally, in the f.b.i. and they've got a difficult job. and so i'm going to wait and see to see if trst any other -- >> do you think you should have known? >> chuck, what i'll say is that if -- it is also possible that had we been told, then you'd be sitting here asking a question about why were you interfering in a criminal investigation. so i think it's best right new for us to just see how this whole process unfolds. with respect to the tax rates, i just want to emphasize, i am open to new ideas. if the republican counterparts or some democrats have a great
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requested fours raise revenue, maintain progress, make sure the middle class isn't getting hit, reduces our deficit, encourages growth i'm not going to just slam the door in their face. i want to hear ideas from everybody. look, i believe this is solveable. i think that fair minded people can come to an agreement that does not cause the economy to go back into recession that protects middle class families, that focuses on jobs and growth and reduces our deficit. i'm confident it can be done. my budget, frankly, doesn't. i understand that -- i don't expect the republicans semply to adopt my budget, that's not realist in. i recognize we're going to have to compromise. as i said on election night, compromise is hard. and not everybody gets 100% of everybody they want.
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not everybody will be perfectly happy. but what i will not do is to have a process that is vague, that says, we're going to sort of kind of raise revenue through dynamic scoring or closing loopholes that have not been identified and the reason i won't do that is because i don't want to find ourselves in a position six months from now or a year from now where lo and behold the only way to close the deficit is to sock it to middle class families. or to burden families that have disabled kids or have a parent in a nursing home.
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or suddenly we've got to cut more out of our basic research budget that is the key to growing the economy in the long term. so that's my concern. i'm less concerned about red lines per se. what i'm concerned about is not finding ourselves in a situation where the wealthy aren't paying more or aren't paying as much as they should, middle class families one way or another are making up the difference. that's the kind of status quo that has been going on here too long and that's exactly what i argued against during this campaign and if there's one thing that i'm confident about is the american people understood what they were getting when they gave me this incredible privilege of being in office for another four years. they want compromise. they want action. but they also want to make sure that middle class folks aren't bury -- bearing the entire burden and, sacrifice when it comes to big challenges. they expect that folks at the
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top are doing their fair share as well. that's going to be my biding principle during these negotiations, but more importantly during the next four years of my administration. >> mr. president, on election night you said you were looking forward to speaking with governor romney, sitting down in the coming weeks to discuss ways you could work together on this nation's problems have you extended that invitation? has he accepted? and what ways do you think you can work together? >> we haven't scheduled something yet. i think everybody forgets the election was only a week ago. i know i've forgotten, i forgot on wednesday. i think everybody needs to catch their breath. i'm sure that governor romney is spending time with his family. and my hope is before the end of the year, though, we have a chance to sit down and talk. there are certain aspects of governor romney's record and his ideas that i think could be very helpful.
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to give you one example, i think he did a terrific job running the olympics. and that skill set of trying to figure out how do we make something work better applies to the federal government. there are a lot of ideas that i don't think are partisan ideas but are just smart ideas about how can we make the federal government more customer friendly, how can we make sure that we're consolidating programs that are duplicative. how can we eliminate additional waste? he presented ideas in the course of the campaign that i agree with and so it would be interesting to talk to him about smog -- something like that. there may be ideas he has with respect to jobs and growth that can help middle class families that i want to hear.
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so i'm not either prejudges what he's interested in doing, nor am i suggesting i've got some specific assignment, but what i want to do is get ideas from him and see if there's some ways we can potentially work together. >> when it comes to your relationship with congress, one of the most frequent criticisms we've heard from members on both sides is you haven't done enough to reach out and build relationships. are there concrete ways you plan to approach your relationships with congress in the second term? >> look, i think there's no doubt that i can always do better. so i will examine ways that i can make sure to communicate my desire to work with everybody, so long as it's advancing the cause of strengthening our middle class and improving our economy.
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i've gotten a lot of good relationships with folks both in the house and senate. i have a lot of relationships on both sides of the aisle. it hasn't always manifested itself in the kind of agreements i'd like to see between democrats and republicans. so i think all of us have responsibilities to see if there are things we can improve on. i don't exempt myself from needing to do some self- reflection and see if i can improve our working relationship. there are probably going to be still some sharp differences. and as i said during the campaign, there are going to be times where there are fights and i think those are fights that need to be had. but what i think the american people don't want to see is a focus on the next election instead of a focus on them. and i don't have another election. and michelle and i were talking
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last night about what an incredible honor and privilege it is to be put in this position. and there are people all across this country, millions of folks who have work sod hard to help us get elected but there are also millions of people who may not have voted for us but are also counting on us. we take that responsibility very seriously. i take that responsibility very seriously. and i hope and intend to be an even better president in the second term than i was in the first. jonathan carl. >> thank you, mr. president. senator john mccain and senator lindsey graham said they want watergate-style hearings on benghazi and if you nominate susan rice to be secretary, they will do everything they can
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to stop that after her remarks on benghazi. >> i'm not going to comment on various nominations i'll put forward to fill out my cabinet for the second term. those are things that are still being discussed. but let me say specifically about susan rice. she has done exemplary work. she has represented the united states and our interests in the united nations with skill and professionalism and toughness and grace. as i've said before, she made an appearance at the request of the white house in which she gave her best understanding of the intelligence that had been provided to her. if senator mccain and senator graham and others want to go after somebody, they should go after me. and i'm happy to have that
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discussion with them. but for them to go after the u.n. ambassador who had nothing to do with benghazi and was simply making a presentation based on intelligence she had received, to besmirch her reputation is outrageous. we're after an election now. i think it is important for us to find out exactly what happened in benghazi and i'm happy to cooperate in any ways congress wants. we have provided every bit of information we have. and we will continue to provide information. and we've got a full blown investigation and all that information will be disgorged to congress. and i don't think there's any debate in this country that when you have four americans killed, that's a problem. and we've got to get to the bottom of it and there needs to be accountability. we've got to bring those who carried it out to justice. they won't get any debate from me on that.
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but when they go after the u.n. ambassador, apparently because they think she's an easy target, then they've got a problem with me. and should i choose, if i think that she would be the best person to serve america in the capacity of the state department then i will nominate her. that's not a determination i have made yet. ed henry. >> i want to take chuck's lead and ask a very small follow-up, whether you feel you have a mandate not just on taxes but a range of issues because of your decisive victory. i want to stay in benghazi because of what john asked you say, if they want to come after somebody, come after me.
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sean smith's father ray says he believes his son basically called 911 for help and didn't get it. i know you said you grieve for these four americans, that it's being investigated but the families have been waited for more than two months. i would like to -- for you to address the families if you can. on 9/11 as commander in chief did you issue any orders to protect their lives? >> ed, i'll address the families not through the press, i'll address the families directly as i already have. and we will provide all the information that is available
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about what happened on that day. that's what the investigation is for. but as i said repeatedly, if people don't think that we did everything we can to make sure that we saved the lives of folks who i sent there and who were carrying out missions on behalf of the united states, then you don't know how our defense department thinks or our state department thinks or our c.i.a. thinks. their number one priority is obviously to protect american lives. that's what our job is. ed, we're -- i'll put forward every bit of information we have. i can tell you that immediately upon finding out that our folks were in danger, that my orders to my national security team were, do whatever we need to do to make sure they're safe. and that's the same order that i would give any time that i see
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americans are in danger. whether they're civilian or military. because that's our number one priority. with respect to the issue of mandate, i've got one mandate. i've got a mandate to help middle class families and families that are working hard to try to get into the middle class. that's my mandate. that's what the american people said. they said work really hard to help us. don't worry about the politics of it. don't worry about the party interests. don't worry about the special interests. just work really hard to see if you can help us get ahead. because we're working really hard out here and we're still struggling a lot of us. that's my mandate. i don't presume that because i won an election that everybody
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suddenly agrees with me on everything. i'm more than familiar with all the literature about presidential overreach in second terms. we are very cautious about that. on the other hand, i didn't get re-elected just to bask in re- election. i got elected to do work on behalf of american families and small businesses all across the country who are still recovering from a really bad recession but are hopeful about the future. and i am too. the one thing that i said during the campaign, that maybe sounds like a bunch of campaign red rhetoric but now that the campaign is over, i'll repeat it and hope you believe me. when you travel around the country you are inspired by the grit and resilience and hard work an decency of the american people. it just makes you want to work harder. you meet families who are -- who have overcome really tough
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spots and are making it, sending their kids to college. and you meet young people who are doing incredible work in disadvantaged communities because they believe in, you know, the american ideal and it should be available for everybody and you meet farmers who are helping each other during types of drought and you meet businesses that kept their doors open during the recession even though the owner didn't have to take a salary, when you talk to these folks you say to yourself, man, they deserve a better government than they've been getting. they deserve all of us here in washington to be thinking everybody single day how can i make things better for them? which isn't to say that everything we do is going to be perfect or that there aren't
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just going to be some big, tough challenges we have to grapple with. but i do know the federal government can make a difference. we're seeing it right now on the jersey coast and in new york. people are still going through a tough time. the response hasn't been perfect. but it's been aggressive and strong and fast and robust and a lot of people have been helped because of it. and that's a pretty good metaphor for how i want the federal government to operate generally and i'm going to do everything i can to make sure it does. christy parson. >> thank you, mr. president. congratulations, by the way. >> when i was running for state senate, you were there. >> i was. >> christy and i go back a ways. >> i've never seen you lose. i wasn't looking that one time. >> there you go. >> one quick followup and then i want to ask you about iran. i just want to make sure you understood what you said. can you envision any scenario in which we do go off the fiscal cliff at the end of the year and on iran are you preparing a final diplomatic push here to resolve the nuclear program issue and are we headed toward
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one-on-one talks? >> obviously we can all imagine a scenario where we go off the fiscal cliff. if despite the election, if the spite -- if despite the dangers of going over the fiscal cliff and what that means for our economy, that there's too much stubbornness in congress that we can't even agree on giving middle class families a tax cut, then middle class families will all end up having a big tax hike. that will be a rude shock for them and i suspect will have a big impact on the holiday shopping season, which in turn will have an impact on business planning and hiring and we can go back into a recession. it would be a bad thing. it is not necessary. so i want to repeat.
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step number one that we can take in the next couple of weeks, provide certainty to middle class families, 98% of families who make less than $250,000 a year, 97% of small businesses that their taxes won't go up a single dime next year. give them that certainty right now. we can get that done. we can then set up a structure whereby we are dealing with tax reform, closing deductions, closing loopholes, simplifying, dealing with entitlements and i'm ready and willing to make big commitments to make sure we're locking in the kind of deficit reductions that stabilize our deficit, start bringing it down, start bringing down our debt. i'm confident we can do it. it's -- and look, i've been living with this for a couple of years now. i know the math pretty well. and it's -- it really is arithmetic. it's not calculus.
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there are some tough things that have to be done but there's a way of doing it that doesn't hurt middle class family that does not hurt our seniors, doesn't hurt families with disabled kids, allows taos continue to invest in those -- allows us to continue to invest in those things that make us grow, research, education, helping young people go to college. as we have heard from some republican commentators a modest tax increase on the wealthy is not going to break their backs. they'll still be wealthy. and it will not impinge on business investment. so we know how to do this. this is just a matter of whether or not we come together and go ahead and say, democrats and republicans, we're both going to hold hands and do what's right for the american people. and i hope that's what happens. with respect to iran, i very much want to see a diplomatic resolution to the problem.
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i was very clear before the campaign, i was clear during the campaign and i'm now clear after the campaign. we're not going to let iran get a nuclear weapon. but i think there's still a window of time for taos resolve this diplomatically. we've imposed the toughest sanctions in history. it is having an impact on iran's economy. there should be a way in which they can enjoy peaceful nuclear power while still meeting their international obligations and providing clear assurances to the international community that they're not pursuing a nuclear
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weapon. so yes, i will try to make a push in the coming months to see if we can open up a dialogue between iran and not just us but the international community to see if we can get this thing resolved. i can't promise that iran will walk through the door they need to walk through but that would be very much the preferable option. >> \[inaudible] >> i won't talk about the details on negotiations. i think it's fair to say that we want to get this resolved and we're not going to be constrained by diplomatic niceties or protocols. if iran is serious about wanting to resolve this, they'll be in a position to resolve it. >> at one point just prior to the election there was talk that talks might be imminent -- >> that was not true. and it's not true as of today. ok. just going to knock through a couple others. mark landers. where's mark? there he is right in front of me. >> thank you, mr. president. in his endorsement of you a few weeks ago, mayor bloomberg said he was motivated by the belief that you would do more to confront the threat of climate change than your opponent.
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tomorrow you're going up to new york city where you're going to, i assume, see people still suffering the effects of hurricane sandy which many people say is further evidence of how a warming globe is changing our weather. what specifically do you plan to do in a sec term to tackle the issue of climate change? and do you think the political will exists in washington to pass legislation that could include some kind of attacks on carbon? >> you know, as you know, mark, we can't attribute any particular weather event to climate change. what we do know is the temperature around the globe is increasing. faster than was predicted even 10 years ago. we do know that the arctic icecap is melting, faster than
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was predicted even five years ago. we do know there have been extraordinarily -- there have been an extraordinarily large number of severe weather events here in north america but also around the globe. and i am a firm believer that climate change is real, that it is impacting by human behavior and by carbon emissions and i think we have an obligation to future yen rations to do something about it. in hi first term, we doubled fuel efficiency standards on cars and trucks. that will have an impact. that will take a lot of carbon out of the atmosphere. we doubled the production of clean energy. which promises to reduce the utilization of fossil fuels for power generation. and we continue to invest in potential breakthrough technologies that could further remove carbon from our
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atmosphere. but we haven't done as much as we need to. so what i'm going to be doing over the next several weeks, next several months, is having a conversation a wide-ranging conversation with scientists, engineers, and elected officials to find out what more can we do to make short-term progress in reducing carbon and then working through an education process that i think is necessary, a discussion, a conversation across the country about what realistically can we do long- term to make sure that this is not something we're passing on to future generations that's going to be very expensive and very pain to feel deal with? i don't know what either
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democrats or republicans are prepared to do at this point. because this is one of those issues that is not just a partisan issue. i also think there's regional differences. there's no doubt that for us to take on climate change in a serious way, would involve making some tough political choices. and understandably, inthe american people right now have been so focused and will continue to be focused on our economy and jobs and growth that if the message is somehow, we're going to ignore jobs and growth, simply to address climate change, i don't think anybody is going to go for that. i won't go for that if on the other hand, we can shape an agenda that says we can create jobs, advance growth, and make a serious dent in climate change and be an international leader, i think that's something the american people would support. so you know, you can expect you'll hear more from me in the coming months and years about how we can shape an agenda that garners bipartisan support an helps move this agenda forward.
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>> you sound like you're saying -- \[inaudible] >> that i'm pretty certain of. look, we're still trying to debate whether we can just make sure middle class families don't get a tax hike. let's see if we can resolve that. that should be easy. this one is hard. but it's important. because one of the things we don't always factor in are the costs involved in these natural disasters. we just put them off as something that's unconnected to our behavior right now and i think what -- based on the evidence we're seeing is that what we do now is going to have an impact and a cost down the road if we don't do something about it.
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all right. last question. mark. >> thank you, mr. president. the assaad regime is engaged in a brutal crackdown on its people. france has recognized the opposition coalition. what would it fake for the united states to do the same and is there any point at which the united states would consider arming the rebels? >> i was one of the first leaders around the world to say assaad had to go. in response to the incredible brutality that his government displayed in the face of what were initially peaceful protests. obviously the situation in syria has deteriorated since then. we have been engaged to help the opposition.
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we have committed to hundreds of millions of dollars of humanitarian aid to help folks both inside of syria and outside of syria. we are constantly consulting with the opposition on how they can get organized so that they're not splinters and divided in the face of the onslaught from the assaad regime. we are in very close contact with countries like turkey and jordan that immediately border syria and have an impact and obviously israel which is having already grave concerns as we do about, for example, movements of chemical weapons that might occur in such a chaotic atmosphere. and they could have an impact not just within syria but on the reas a whole. i'm encouraged to see that the syrian opposition created an
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umbrella group that may have more cohesion than they had in the past. we're going to be talking to them, my envoys are going to be traveling to various meetings taking place with the international community and the opposition. we consider them a legitimate representative of the aspirations of the syrian people. we're not yet prepared to recognize them as some sort of government in exile. but we do think it is it's a broad-based representative group. one of the questions we're going to continue to express is making sure that that opposition is committed to a democratic syria, an inclusive syria, a moderate syria. we have seen extremist elements insinuate themselves into the opposition. and one of the things that we have to be on gourd about, particularly when with start talking about arming opposition, -- opposition
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figures is that we're not indirectly putting arms in the hands of folks who would do americans harm or do israelis harm or otherwise engage in actions that are detrimental to our national security. so we're constantly probing and working on that issue, the more engaged we are in the more we'll be in a position to make sure that we are encouraging the most moderate, thoughtful elements of the opposition that are committed to inclusion, observance of human rights and working cooperatively with us over the long-term. all right? thank you very much. >> \[inaudible] >> that was a great question, but it would be a horrible precedent for me to answer your question just because you yelled it out. so thank you very much guys.
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>> c-span invites middle- and send achool students to video to the president. for a chance to win $5,000. c-span student cam video competition is open to students grades six through 12. the deadline is january 18, 2013. visit studentcam.org. >> house speaker john boehner on his party leadership election followed by democratic leader
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nancy pelosi. then senators of both parties on their leadership elections. later republican senators john mccain, nancy gramm, and others call for the investigation on the attacks of the u.s. consulate in libya. the senate armed services committee holds a hearing tomorrow morning on the nomination of marine corps general joseph dunford. that is live on c-span 3 at 9:30 eastern. general dunford is assistant commandant of the marine corps. now house speaker john gainer on his party's leadership election and the agenda for the lame duck session of congress.
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top priority which is jobs. i'm proud of my leadership caucus who are going to serve. and while some of us who are returning to the leadership, we have new members and you will get to hear from them in a moment. our majority is the primary line of defense for the american people against a government that spends too much, borrows too much when left unchecked. i have outlined a framework for how both parties can work together to avert the fiscal cliff without raising tax rates and through a combination of pro-growth tax reform and entitlement reform, we can bring jobs home and make our economy stronger. listen, with so many challenges that are ahead of us, the american people need to see us
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act courageously, think selflessly and lead boldly and our majority is up to the task and i expect the president is as well. >> good afternoon. we wept through a tough week last week as a party, but clearly the house majority is intact and we are strong. i have never been prouder of my colleagues than i am for having stood strong for the things that we believe in. i'm especially proud of paul ryan that took the charge across the nation of the kind of a solution-on the parted agenda we have been about for the last two years. as the speaker said, we stand to do right for the people of this country to extend our hands to say yes, we want to help those who are in trouble, those who are having tough times and we want to help people in this country get back to work. we are going to be about a
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results-oriented majority and solutions, just as we have had in the past and we want solutions to get people back to work and save medicare for those who need it, solutions in place for a myriad of challenges that people are facing. and that's why we say to this president, we want to work with you on solutions. we don't understand why raising tax rates is the solution if you want to see people get back to work. the speaker has extended his hand to say we want to work with you, mr. president. we understand he won re-election and want to go forward together in cooperation to solve the problems, not just posture. >> i'm honored to serve one more time as whip. it is the second largest republican majority since world war ii.
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the elections are over and now time to get to work. we have a new leadership team. very diverse team, we have an accountant and a college president. a unique team and ready to put america first and that's what we are looking forward to do. we are willing to work across the aisle with those who want to work with us. we want to put people before politics and that's what this leadership team will do. >> we stand before you today as the null elected leadership team for republicans for the 113th congress and it is a team that represents every corner of this country, come from all different experiences and backgrounds and we are committed to moving this country forward, to getting america back to work, to solving the fiscal crisis that faces the federal budget and being part of the solution moving forward. that's our challenge and that is our goal as we approach the 113th congress.
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>> i'm humbled to be on the stage with these folks today and honored to serve as the conference vice chair and as a momma with a 21-year-old and 18- year-old, jobs and the economy is going to be our main focus. jobs and the economy is going to be our main focus. the last thing i want is for them to graduate from college and come live in my basement. so i am pleased that house republicans have run to the problems of the day with our budget solutions, our job solutions, and i think you can count on the leadership team and the republican conference to continue running toward the problem. we look forward to working with the administration and negotiating throughout the next few months. >> you have for people over and over use the words team, working
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together, and solutions. those are going to be a mantra. we do want to help the american people. for creating jobs, and for us to work together to do that. we are at solution-driven. that is the direction we will be going. >> throughout this nation, from south carolina to washington state, we have many members of congress looking to move this country forward. most of my voters are not thinking about republicans and democrats. they are thinking about feeding their families. we have the leadership team that understands and appreciates that. >> i am from oregon's second district, elected as new chairman of the congressional committee. we suffered some losses -- some of our colleagues will not be returning. we also have the second largest margin in the house since world
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war ii. back-to-back biggest margins republicans have had. our goal be to solve the american people's problems, to work together to find mutual solutions, and grow our majority in 2014. it can be done. we intend to do it. thank you. >> my new job after leaving the national republican congressional committee, i have been asked by speaker better to be chairman of the rules committee. it is my job to work with -- speaker boehner all the chairman of our conference, including our great majority leader and our whip on heavy legislation that the american people will understand and see we will produce. legislation that is prepared to add jobs and make this country better and stronger. i look forward to this challenge. thank you. >> i have been elected to be the policy committee chairman. this republican conference is
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known for ideas and solutions. it is not personality driven. it is set on solutions the american people can look at and say, that will fix the problem. it is our responsibility to work with committee leadership, outside group, for whoever has the best ideas. they will pull those things together and provide solutions. that is what we will be focused on. there are issues on a wide variety of things that need to be taken on in this session. it is how we pull those ideas together and solve them. >> the president urged republicans to pass immediately a senate bill that would extend the tax breaks for families making under $250,000 a year first. and then deal with the rest of the fiscal clef. why not do that, and give americans some certainty? >> i think the senate ought to move on the house bill. there are a lot of issues on the table that have to be resolved
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by the end of the year. i think i have laid out a reasonable framework for both parties to work together. i am looking forward to beginning our conversation. >> can not you all agree on that, at least? that you can not just not that out right away? >> the issue there is that we are not going to hurt our economy and make job creation more difficult, which is exactly what that plan would do. it is not the direction we want to go because it will hurt drug graders in america. >-- job creators in america. >> thank you, mr. speaker. my question for you, given that the president has stated his
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vision on going forward, you have your position, how do you anticipate this process will unfold on friday? what you expect to hear from the president that is different from what he said? >> we have looked closely at what the president have -- has had to say and what i have had to say. there are no big barriers here. to sitting down and continuing to work through this process. i do not think anyone on either side of the aisle underestimate the difficulties. but i do think the spirit of cooperation you have seen over the last week, from myself and my team, from democrats across the aisle, the president, have created an atmosphere -- i remain optimistic. >> mr. speaker, the president made it very clear in his desire
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to have the wealthiest paid more taxes. do you agree with that position that those making above $250,000 -- >> i look forward to my conversation. >> my question is for leader cantor. i would like to ask you -- [inaudib;e] le] do you have any issues -- given the cell phone pictures? >> obviously, information from an individual that i did not have before or did not know -- the information that was sent to me sounded as if there was a
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potential for a national security vulnerability. i had no way of corroborating the story that i was told and felt the the best thing to do at the time was not to politicize it but to put national security first. that is why i turned to the rules office to ask them to do their job and assume that the fbi would comply with its obligations to keep us on the hill informed once it determines whether an investigation was necessary or a crime had been committed. >> just on that subject -- congressman gummer is calling for a special prosecutor. senator mccain wants a watergate sort of pro into this matter as well. would you get behind this type of -- >> i think the standing
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committees of the house, the intelligence committee, are working diligently on these issues. at this point i think that is appropriate. >> mr. speaker, are you concerned that there are some in the democratic party would like to replicate the situation -- something comparable to what you experienced with the payroll tax last year? >> we have members on both sides of the aisle do -- who have their own ideas about how to resolve this. some frankly may be more
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interested in politics. if we do what is in the best interest of the american people, i have confidence a decision can be resolved. >> secretary geithner said he did not think you could raise enough revenue merely by tapping itemized deductions to reach the revenue goals you are looking for. can you give us an idea here? >> no. , i am not. >> can you tell us what the math is? >> there are ways to put revenue on the table without increasing tax rates. we have talked about this now for over a year. there is all kinds of information and data out there, but getting into the specifics of that at this point would not be conducive to trying to come to an agreement on a planned. >> speaker, the payroll tax cut is part of the fiscal clef.
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is that something you feel should be renewed here? >> there are dozens of issues that have to be dealt with by the end of the year. that being one of them. a lot of this will take place beginning on friday. thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> house minority leader nancy pelosi said she will run for another term as democratic leader. her announcement came during a news conference focusing on the election and congress.
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this is a half-hour. >> i think that most of them are here. good morning.
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more are coming. yesterday, when we gathered here i began my comments standing here with our new members of congress by saying a picture is worth a thousand words. that is what they say. i said then and i say now that this picture before you is worth millions of votes. millions of votes. [applause] millions of women's votes that it took to reelect president barack obama. [applause] millions of women's votes that helped us elect a record number of women to the congress of the united states. as you look forward, understand
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that you are looking into the future. the future of empowerment of women in america. we saw some of these faces yesterday among the new members elect. i said then that they were part of the most diverse caucus in the history of the world, the first time a parliamentary body would have a party who had a majority of women and minorities. we are very proud of that. we said yesterday, we did not have majority but we have the gavel. excuse me -- but we do not have the gavel. [laughter] we have something more important -- we have unity.
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we do not have the gavel. we do not have the majority. but we have unity. i think our caucus this morning demonstrates that very clearly. so i come here with my sisters -- when i came to congress 25 years ago there were 23 members of congress who were women out of 445. just think of that. 12 democrats, 11 republicans, something like that. today we have over 60 house democratic women. [applause] not enough. we want more. but all of us who were there, that doesn't of us early on, we took responsibility -- a dozen
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of us for the time, we took responsibility to try to put more women in congress across the country. i am proud that in california our delegation of democrats is a majority of women, not even counting our two senators. women are empowered in california. i also want to acknowledge that although our members are great here, two of our colleagues have gone on to the senate. senator elapsed tammy baldwin [applause] senator idiolect maisie toronto. hirono. only the second woman of color to serve in the senate. that is very exciting. unfortunately we do not have kathy hochul this next congress, but the future is soon coming upon -- we know they will be making a great public
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contribution. so here we are. we are still finishing up some of our campaigns. we are very proud of the success -- as you see here today. why is it important for us to make this statement of the strength of women in the congress of the united states? the house democratic women? because this is where the hopes and dreams of american families are. they may not know that, they may not know one party from the next and the rest, but we now that without roza deluaro we would not have the lilly ledbetter paycheck fairness act. without gwen moore would not have the violence against women act put forth the way it is. [applause] working so hard with other
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members of our caucus, to protect women in the military. [applause] we are so very proud of the chair of the democratic national committee, debbie wasserman- schultx. z. [applause] i could go around here and talk about the leadership. susan davis, women in the military has been per issue for a long time. at any event, the point is that if america is going to reach its fulfillment as a nation we must have the further empowerment of women. women in the military, if you want to be our strongest we must be given every opportunity to women to hold every job so that they can one day attain the top jobs. we want women in business, in
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the fortune 500, fewer than 20 ceos. 81 our economy to flourish and grow we must lift up -- if we want our economy to flourish and grow we must live up women's leadership. very important. women in the academic world, in health care, any subject you can name. is more successful, more efficient with the involvement of women. when women came to the polls last week, they registered their support for those who understood the challenges that women face. it is really a remarkable thing. under the leadership of the women standing here, the voices of america as mothers, daughters, and grandmothers will be heard. women are the bread winners for our families. in many cases, the small
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business owners in our communities. and the workers that will spur our process -- prosperity. they're holding jobs of the office, creating jobs as entrepreneurs and owners. we keep our focus on women's rights and health, equal pay, choice, we also know that women are focused on the same issues all of us are -- the economy, jobs, the future of the middle- class and the national security of our country. they are concerned about fiscal soundness for america because they think about the future. as we move forward to debate our economic and fiscal challenges in the weeks and months ahead, one thing is clear. our economic agenda, choices and decisions will be viewed through the perspective and eyes of our nation's women and their needs. and those of their families. so i have decided, in light of
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all the excitement accompanying our beautiful and diverse caucus -- in saying francisco, i always say the beauty is in the mix. that is where the strength is, in the mix. the size of our women's caucus -- i am not satisfied, we want more, but we are the largest element of political leadership for women in the country. larger than it has ever been. so i have made the decision that some of you may have some interest and -- in -- in order to continue work on empowering women, to making sure our affordable care act is in force in a way that no longer makes being a woman be a pre-existing medical condition -- [applause] to work with the president to create jobs and grow our economy in a way that empowers women in
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the workplace, to talk about a healthy political climate, to work with women to say, we know one way to increase the involvement of women in government and politics, we must reduce the role of money and increase the level of civility. that would be a very good thing for our country and would elect more women and more young people. [applause] a healthy nation, a healthy political are rita -- arena, a healthy planet. i am so pleased to hear what the president said about clean energy jobs. that has been a priority for me, and i look forward to working on those issues as we go forward. so it is about, again, a healthy, fare economy, healthy people, healthy planet, help the politics. you cannot separate the policy
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from the politics. if you want good -- you cannot celebrate the breadbox from the ballot box. if you want the right policy for america's working families, you must have politics that are fair and enable people who share those values to be effected. so in order to reignite the american dream, that is what we are about, to build ladders of opportunity for those who want to work hard, play by the rules, take responsibility, for small business and entrepreneurship and a strong and thriving middle-class -- we have work to do. i have made a decision to submit my name to my colleagues to once again serve as the house democratic leader. [applause]
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i am so proud to stand here with you, my sisters. a lot of our friends really wanted to come out here -- this is a girl's morning. any questions? >> was there ever a moment that you considered not staying on as we talk about this? >> there was not really much time. when the election was over, it was not over. we still had about five races that we were watching very carefully. my first time was spent working with steve israel to make sure we had the resources to prevail in those races. my second time i spent was to call people who were not successful in this particular election. everybody here was getting a lot
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of calls -- a running is very noisy. not succeeding, the phones do not ring that much. so i wanted to hear from them, what their views were about how we go forward. then to take the calls of my colleagues to see what their view is. what i talked about here, about changing the role of money in politics, is really very important motivator for me to stay in the leader's office. i think it must be done. when people say money did not make any difference in the campaign, they all wasted them money -- that really was not true. the president of the united states, the most well known, respected person on the planet, had to spend about $1 billion to set the record straight from what that big money was putting
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out there. senate races, house races, tammy duckworth had $7 million spent against their of outside money. this is a congressional race. this is not right. our founders had in mind a government of the many, not the government of the money. you have heard me say that over and over again. that was a motivating factor to me. of course, the will of my caucus and they convey to me they're well that i should stay. i am glad lee doing that. -- gladly doing that. >> what did your colleagues privately say about your decision to stay on -- what about the party having a young girl leadership and the long term -- having a younger
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leadership and the long term? [talking over each other] >> you should ask that question to mitch mcconnell. >> mr. hoyer, -- your all, does this prohibit younger leadership from moving forward? >> be what everyone to step aside? >> does this delay younger leadership from moving forward? >> let's for a moment honor that as a legitimate question. [laughter] although it is quite offensive, but you do not realize it, i guess. the fact is that everything i have done in my almost decade now of leadership is to elect
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younker and new were people to the congress. -- e. under and new work people to the congress. it was very -- younger and newer people to the congress. i came to the congress when my youngest child was a senior in high school. i knew my male colleagues came when they were 30. they had a jump on me because they did not have -- i did what i wanted to do. i was blessed to have that opportunity to sequentially raise my family and then come to congress. but i wanted women to be here in greater numbers at an earlier age so that their seniority what starts to account much sooner. -- would start to account much sooner. we wanted to keep bringing in younger people. the decisions we made over the years to invest what we wanted in the house in 2006 and then in races before was to encourage
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people to come. when they come, to give that opportunity to serve. i do not have any concern about that. i was home raising a family, getting the best experience of all in diplomacy. [applause] the answer is no. >> i am wondering, when did you reach a final decision to stay on? >> my conversations with the president are not ones that i share. but my issues, my colleagues made it very clear. in fact, they must have
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coordinated with each other because their message was clear -- do not even think about leaving. that is what i got over and over again. is this a coincidence or what? but my decision, really, i love what i do -- of course. am i honored by what -- the support of my colleagues? endlessly. but i had to talk this over with my family because it is an enormous time commitment. the encouragement i got from them. my brother was not as keen on it as my children were. i guess he wanted to spend more time with me, but my kids were busy. [laughter] in any event, i would say final yesterday. yesterday.
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probably finally yesterday. i called my brother tommy this morning to tell him my final decision. being actively involved in politics at this level is really in satiable. what i said to him, there are not enough hours in the day for me. there is so much more i want to do. i do not know how to get any more hours in the day. i can only sleep so little. anything i say, really, is something that any one of these women could be saying about their own personal decisions about their lives to continue in the role that they have. each one of those roles is very important. they have a vested in me this title of leader and into weeks
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perhaps they will again. -- in a two weeks perhaps they will again. perhaps we on the two husbands -- perhaps a better word, we all have to mete out our time, the most finite commodity of all. but from the standpoint of the victories we had at the polls i would not think of walking away. we had a fabulous victory. [applause] as we talked about yesterday, we did win 25 seats. we did not net25 seats, but there are 16 republicans who won not be back in january. they will be replaced by the beautiful diversity of america, that looks like america. the vitality -- 49 new members, 25% of our caucus is brand new. i want to see them succeed here and i want to see them return. it is always more about the
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issues, it is about a healthy political system, a healthy america, a healthy planet, a healthy economy that is fair. spoken like a mom -- is always about health. i feel good about the decision. decisions are liberating carried when you make a decision, how liberating it is once you accept that. >> how difficult is it for you to lead with us again? >> that is no problem at all. i am glad you asked that question. i think we all share an enthusiasm -- correct me if i am wrong. there is something very positive about this election. this president who was held under such terrible comments by
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the other side was reelected. that was important for the issues we care about, health care, medicare, you name it, but it was also important because it did not have a rejection of president barack obama. this is what was in our hearts -- this is a very important decision america made and the world was watching. at the same time, the record shows we got more votes than the republicans in terms of reaching out for our members to reelect them and increase our numbers. that was very positive. so it is almost liberating to be here with a democratic tosident' whose commitment the future is based on values,
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shared values of the american people. a commitment to strive for bipartisanship. we all come here to do the same thing. i do not want to say it is better than having the gavel, but it is better than it would have been the last term. it is better than the last term. infinitely better than the last term. [applause] because some of the people, the anti-government ideologues, some of them are gone. that message has largely been rejected by the american people. it is not about the gavel, although we would like to have it. it is about the unity we share, the important work we can do, and thinking a little longer term, of the past our country is on and where we would go. >> how much of your decision was tied to the idea that you will be able to be around and be at
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the table now for some of the things you work so hard for from 2008 until 2010? how much did that play into your decision? >> it was the encouragement of my colleagues. they said to me, do not even think of leaving. they said, you have done all the heavy lifting -- now sit down at the table. that really was important to a large number of our colleagues. for some people in the general public who saw -- to thought four men at the table was not an appealing thing, however excellent mib. -- they might be. the idea i would walk away from this table, that was something we heard a lot about. inside the congress, my colleagues knew what i could bring to that table. >> a moment ago you claimed
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victory, but in fact stated goal was to get the gavel back. having that, what you deserve to return to the position? >> our stated goal was driving for 25. on that path, we did elect 25 new members of congress. we did not net 25, but we made enormous progress. we made more progress than anybody thought we would do. republicans the morning of the election thought they would win seats. we won 16 of their seats. when president george study bush was elected president -- george w. bush was elected, republicans picked up three seats. when clinton was reelected, the democrats picked up two seats. when eisenhower was reelected, republicans picked up two seats. we picked up as many seats as
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all three of those presidents did in their reelection. we believe it was a stunning even for democrats. [applause] a stunning victory for democrats. i salute our chairman, steve israel, for being a spectacular field marshal in all this. i commend all of my colleagues, mike leaders, steny hoyer, -- chris van hollen, the leads -- the list goes on. all the women who traveled. we were thinking it was possible, and it was. i would say the one disappointment that i had was that medicare message that was at stake was so mr. reprmisrepresented by republicans that the people were confused.
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people said, why did the democrats want to cut medicare? we did not. we used the savings of medicare to extended for another decade and provide benefits immediately for seniors right now. republicans took that same money and gave tax cuts to the rich. that was a message that outside money spent a fortune to misrepresent. that is why the election of barack obama was so very important. to protect medicare -- even though we could not get the majority, we knew when he won that many of the issues, affordable care, medicare, were protected. we had a different view of what happened that day. we saw some of the members that we elective, the intellect we brought in here. it is not about quantity for us so much as the policy of
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leadership, the quality of our members, the ideas that they had, the talent that they bring, the commitment and dedication to a better future. we may not have the majority, we may not have the gavel, but we have the unity. we have the unity to go fourth, create jobs, build our economy, simple as abc. make it in america, build the infrastructure of america, and tax cuts for the middle-class. tax cuts for the middle-class. we can do that, prevent us from going over the cliff. we look forward to working with our great president and congratulate the senate on adding to their numbers, especially at and so many women to the senate. do we have time for one more question? >> after the election, republicans are still demanding structural changes to medicare as part of the discussion -- how
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far are democrats willing to go on those programs? >> as i said to you, this will be familiar -- when we go to the table and everything is on the table we will make judgments about how we grow the economy, which is the best way to reduce the debt. how do we create jobs? what cuts are necessary to achieve that without hurting investments in education, which brings more money to the treasury than any initiative you can name. what are the revenues that will come to balance all of that? our commitment to democrats is we believe social security and medicare are pillars of economic and health security for america's seniors. they should not be used -- have cuts made to them to give tax cuts to the rich. the adjustments we would make in
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then would be to make them stronger. as it is in the affordable care act with medicare, to prolong its life, increase its benefits, and keep america's seniors healthy. i think it is time for us to go back to work -- there are so many of us here, aren't we proud of the fact we have 61 women now -- now we just have to double. we just have to double our numbers. but there is nothing more hopeful than the politics -- to the politics of our country than the increased participation of women, the empowerment of women in the political process. thank you all very much. [applause]
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[inaudible conversation] [inaudible conversation]
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>> senators of both parties held their leadership elections today and spoke with reporters in the capital. this is 20 minutes. >> good afternoon, everyone. welcome back. the american people have spoken. a week ago they decided in many ways to continue the status quo with divided government. we have a lot of big challenges confronting asset the end of the cycle. i would remind everyone that divided government has sometimes done very important things for the country. think of ronald reagan and tip o'neill reforming social security. ron reagan and tip o'neill
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during the current tax reform. bill clinton and the republican congress doing welfare reform and balancing the budget. we look forward to making this divided government productive for the american people, and we have, as everyone knows, a lot of challenges at the end of the year. i will be meeting with the president and the other leadership on friday to talk about the way forward. we look forward to being a part of the solution to the significant problems. it is my pleasure to turn to our newly elected whip, senator john corn andyn of texas. >> -- senator john cornyn of texas. >> is an honor to serve as the assistant leader on the republican side. we have a lot of very difficult work to do, but we are committed to working with our colleagues across the aisle to solve the nation's urgent problems. we know what those are in the
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lame duck and we know what those are going forward. there is no mystery about that, nor is there any mystery to some of the solutions based on the president's own bipartisan fiscal commission and others that have laid out road maps and shown us a way to address those issues. i am looking forward to working more closely with my colleagues now in a new capacity. i appreciate their confidence placed in me. i view as my role model for that the service of senator john kyl, who will remain our whip through the end of the year, who has been an outstanding member of the united states senate and somebody who has left a very big shoes to fill. >> i also want to thank my colleagues and look forward to working with our leadership. to do good things for the country. the elections are over with. this is an opportunity for us to turn the page. that means the president of united states has got to lead.
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he has got to step forward and help us deal with the most immediate crisis, the fiscal cliff. as we look down the road to things that we can do that will really make this -- put this country back on top track and keep the economy growing again, those are all things that are in our grasp and are in sight if we want to do the right things to make it happen. we all know the issue being debated right now is the issue of taxes. there is so much analysis out there, so many groups who have studied this issue very carefully and have said that if we raise taxes in a down economy it will cost as economic growth, 700,000 jobs, will reduce take- home pay for many americans. that is a wrong direction in which to go. but we believe that the president, if he is willing to have an opportunity here to work with republicans, we stand ready in the senate and house republicans to as well to work with him on a solution that will deal with the immediate crisis
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of the fiscal cliff. just as importantly, the long- term fiscal solvency of this country and getting our economy growing and getting americans back to work. >> i also want to thank my colleagues for allowing me to continue as chairman of the republican policy committee, to continue to work with my colleagues on the issues that all of americans are concerned about. those of the issues of jobs, the economy, the debt, and spending. i will continue to provide them with credible, reliable, accurate, and timely information to make sure each of them can be most effective as we deal with this major issues that are facing our country. >> the new member of this group -- it is a real pleasure to be here. i look forward to developing a good route -- working relationship with us to have cameras and microphones. i expressed gratitude to my colleagues to let me serve in this capacity. we will work hard to make sure good things happen in a
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political sense for republican senators, but i fully recognize that the success of politics follows governing well. i look forward to working with leader mcconnell and others in our congress to make sure we make correct decisions on behalf of america. so we do our jobs well as united states senators, good things will happen in the political realm as well. we are working hard to develop the right team at the senate campaign committee, and i am pleased to tell you that senator rob portman has agreed to the vice chair for finance to help us in acquiring the necessary resources for success. senator elect ted cruz has agreed to serve as vice chairman of the nrsc. we have already in place the beginnings of a team that will work hard to make a difference, not just on behalf of republicans but on behalf of all
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americans. thank you very much. >> a couple of questions. >> $1.6 in revenue -- is that anything you think republicans could ultimately agree to ? >> i can only echo what the speaker said very correctly last week. republicans believe that there is a way to get additional revenue. we also believe that additional revenue should be tied to -- the only thing that will save the country in the long run, that is reforming entitlements. we know you cannot raise taxes enough to solve the problem. the big argument during the campaign over whether we should raise tax rates on people of
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$250,000 would have produced enough revenue to fund the government for six days. we now it may be a good political talking point, but it does not deal with the problem. we are open to discussing all this with the president. everybody who studied the issue knows that until you make our entitlement programs fit for the future demographic about country, the demographics of our country, you cannot possibly solve our long-term debt and deficit problems. we are open to discussing all this with the president. we had endless discussions about it last year. the american people have chosen a divided government once again. as i said, divided government has frequently done good things for the country and we are willing to sit down and talk about it. the first meeting i will be involved on is friday. >> has been a disappointing election cycle for senate republicans -- what changes you make to make sure you pick up seats in 2014? >> the american people have
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spoken. they have voted basically for the status quo. we still have a republican house, democratic senate, democratic president. i think they want us to tackle some of these problems and get them behind us. today is not a day to continue to campaign. we ought to turn the campaign off and turn the corner and start working on these serious problems that confront us. we are ready to sit down with the president and the democratic majority in the senate and get to work. thanks a lot. >> we have finished our leadership elections and we are all grateful that the caucus supported us in the positions we held in the 100th of congress. -- 112th congress.
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i talk about his leadership team that i still admire and havs ben so good to the caucus and our country. we look forward to meeting the challenges ahead. we know what those challenges are. the first opportunity we have had to bring the caucus together -- all the democratic senators. incoming senators are all accomplished in their own right. representing states from all over this country. i am very happy to say we were able to add to the number of women. about one-third of the democratic caucus is now women. one of the things that we did at the special election we just had -- we presented senator murray with 40 red roses representing her 20 years in the senate plus the 20 women who are now in the united states senate. our incoming freshmen are
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anxious to do a lot of good things. that is what they will do. we ran a message led by senator mary, from montana to massachusetts, the american people told us loud and clear they agreed on a balanced approach. this approach we are going to take to the remainder of this congress and into the new one, which will begin very soon. questions? >> your fourth term as majority leader -- you have any thoughts on [inaudible] >> i am just going to continue doing my job. [inaudible]
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>> everyone should understand that we are going to move to change what has been done to make the senate an institution that has no bearing on when in johnson was president or even bill frist was majority leader. they have made it almost an impossible task to get things done. the motion to proceed, which they have abused, which they have abused -- do you realize we have the farm bill, a postal bill, and many other things we need to do, like the tax bill we passed over here? we cannot go to congress. why? it takes three filibusters. we have to do three filibusters to go to conference. that is something we should change. we are going to make an attempt to change the rules. we are working, we are working to make sure we have the votes
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to do that. >> senator brown of massachusetts lamented that -- [inaduble] >> i am glad to have the chance to respond to that. i saw during the campaign his plea for bipartisanship -- that is a big joke. it is a travesty. he was one of the most partisan people to ever serve here. he could have saved citizens united. he could have been the 60th vote on that and many things. i do not need a lecture from him on bipartisanship. he should go look in the mirror. [inaudible] >> you should never chew gum -- get rid of that. [laughter]
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i wanted to tell you earlier but did not have the chance. john kerry is my friend. i worked so hard for him when he was running for president. i did everything i could to help them. he came very close. there has been no better legislator that i served with. he has been way out front on issues dealing with climate change, infrastructure, bank development, many other things. i do not know any conversation with the president or anyone in the white house has had with him. any conversation i have had with john kerry, he does not bring up the secretary of anything. i'll do everything i can to help him if he is chosen. we feel very comfortable if in fact something does happen, we feel comfortable that massachusetts will -- i have
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already told you how i feel about scott brown. >> what do you think are his priorities -- his party should be? parties -- toent partie protect the middle-class and small business. we are one vote away from that being accomplished. all we have to do is have the house of representatives bring up our bill. we have brought up their bill -- it was roundly defeated. they should do this to help the american people. all the other issues the president has laid out a program on -- job creation, we need to do that. the president does not need any information from me. he knows what he is going to do. he is pointed in the right direction. >> last question --
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[inaudible] >> you mostly could not hear the question, but she said what do i expect from the meeting at the white house on friday? what about entitlement cuts? >i have made very clear -- i told anyone who will listen, including everyone in the white house and the president, that i am not going to be part of having social security as part of the talks related to the deficit. so security, i am happy we have an independent commission -- the conrad commission dealing with the debt to deal with social security. social security is not part of the problem. that is one of the myths the republican have tried to create.
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it is sound for the next many years, but we want to make sure that in our years people are protected, and also that it will not be part of the budget talks as far as i am concerned. as you know, we have strengthened medicare with our health care bill. we have prolonged the life of it for 12 years. we have saved hundreds of billions of dollars. all that savings went to recipients. we are not going to be negotiating things here, but i give you my personal feelings about where we need to go. take care of the middle-class. have the richest of the rich contribute a little bit to helping our economy. the majority of the people who are fortunate and made a lot of money -- they are willing to do this. democrats, independents, and republican support the direction of the president regarding this fiscal cliff issue. thanks, everybody. >> republican senators john
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mccain, lindsey gramm, and kelly ipod are calling for a temporary select committee to investigate the attacks on u.s. consulate on libya. speaking in the senate floor, they said they >> i ask for its consideration. >> the resolution will be received. mccain: thank you, mr. president. this resolution calls for an establishment of a select committee of the senate to make a thorough and complete investigation of the facts and circumstances surrounding, and the response of the united states government to the september 11, 2012, terrorist attacks against the united states consolate and personnel in benghazi, libya, and to make recommendations to prevent
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similar attacks in the future. i send that to the desk in behalf of myself, senator graham of south carolina, and senator ayotte of new hampshire. mr. president, before i go into the need for this select committee -- and there clearly is a need because there is a huge credibility gap amongst the american people because of the now going on eight weeks of contradictory reports, contradictory statements beginning with the president of the united states. the president of the united states, on the day of the -- on september 12, went to the rose garden and stated that he opposed terrorist attacks. and then that evening, as we found out after the election, with an interview with "60
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minutes," the president stated -- and i will provide the quotes for the record -- quote -- "we don't know who is responsible for these attacks." so he went from condemning -- quote -- "terrorist attacks" to saying to mr. kroft of "60 minutes" that he didn't know who was responsible. and then in the days following in various venues, whether they be late-night talk shows or the united nations, the president went on to allege that this was a hideous video that triggered a spontaneous demonstration. not true. not true. the president of the united states did not tell the american people the truth about the attacks that took four brave americans' lives that went on for seven hours, for which we were totally unprepared. mr. president, four brave americans died. it has now been eight weeks.
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the american people have received nothing but contradictory statements from all levels of our government. one of the more salient events was five days after when clearly it had been identified as an al qaeda-affiliated terrorist attack. the united nations ambassador, at the direction of the white house, went on all sunday talk shows to allege that this was a spontaneous demonstration triggered by a hateful video, as did our secretary of state, as did most regrettably, the president of the united states. the american people deserve the facts. the american people need to know why was the security at the consolate so inadequate despite two previous attacks on that facility? an assassination attempt on the british ambassador. what did the president know?
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when did he know it? and what did he do about it? did the president's national security staff make him aware of these attacks? and if they did, why did he not take the lead? what actions, if any, were taken to respond to a classified cable sent from our embassy in libya to the state department on august 16, weeks before the september 11 attack, stating there were numerous armed groups in benghazi that posed a threat to american interests, that the consolate in benghazi could not survive a sustained attack like the one that occurred a month later at the hands of one of these militia groups? what actions if any did the secretary of state take to these repeated warnings. i saw him on july 2. he told me of his concerns then.
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the senator from south carolina and others wrote an article in the "wall street journal" talking about the need for security, the problems that the libyan government was having. obviously those were ignored. why were repeated requests for greater security in libya turned down by officials at the state department? on the anniversary of the worst terrorist attack in american history and after multiple attacks this year on our consolate in benghazi and other interests there, why were u.s. armed forces in the region not ready -- not ready -- and positioned to respond to what was clearly a forseeable emergency. the fight went on for seven he hours. why did senior administration officials seek to blame a spontaneous demonstration when there was no spontaneous demonstration, which they were seeing in real time? which the surveillance cameras within and without our consolate
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clearly indicated. why is it that anyone, including our ambassadors to the united nations, would believe that spontaneous demonstrations are composed of people with mortars, with rocket-propelled grenades and heavy weapons? no one believes that. why did the president -- why did president obama insist that he label the events in benghazi an act of terrorism on september 12 when we know now -- i repeat -- we know now that in an interview with "60 minutes" on the same day he explicitly refused to characterize the attack in this way, and he then spent nearly two weeks putting the emphasis on a spontaneous protest to a hateful video, including in his address to the united nations on september 25? mr. president, we need a select
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committee. americans deserve to know. the families of those slain and murdered americans need to know. and why in the world the administration or our friends on the other side of the aisle or anyone would resist the appointment of a select committee, i do not know. we have to have a select committee. the people of the united states deserve it. and the families of those deserve it. they deserve answers. in eight weeks now, they have not gotten the answers. and the only credible way of getting those answers is with a select committee. i understand today that the president of the united states took some umbrage at statements that senator ayotte, senator graham and i have made concerning this issue. we believe whoever it is must be held responsible, i say to the president of the united states. most importantly, the president of the united states who is
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commander and chief, who so far, in my view, has not exercised those responsibilities and also not informed the american people of the facts. this president and this administration has either been guilty of colossal incompetence or engaged in a coverup, neither of which are acceptable to the american people. mr. president, if i feel -- if it appears that i feel strongly about this issue, i speak for the families, i believe, of those who were murdered. i speak as a friend of christopher stevens. i speak as a person who knows something about warfare. i speak something -- with some authority that this attack clearly could have been prevented if the facts on the ground had been clearly taken into consideration, including the ample warnings, including
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the warnings that have the sent on august 16 stating that the consolate could not resist successfully resist a concentrated attack by al qaeda-affiliated groups. that alone, that alone convinces me and i believe most americans when they find out, that the actions to prevent these murders were clearly insufficient if not totally incompetent. mr. president, i see the senator from south carolina is here to join me as well as the senator from new hampshire. and i yield -- mr. president, i ask unanimous consent to engage in colloquy with both the senator from south carolina and the senator from new hampshire. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mccain: very briefly, then i'll -- mr. graham: very briefly. here's the request of the body.
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benghazi needs to be investigated. we need to find out what happened so it never happens again. you have four americans killed, the first ambassador killed in the line of duty in 33 years. that's worthy of our time. dianne feinstein is doing a very good job with saxby chambliss on the intel side. general petraeus must testify. i think secretary clinton must testify. here's the problem that i have with the approach we're taking. armed services needs to ask d.o.d. how could you not come to the aid of the consolate for almost eight hours on september september, of all days? the state department needs to be asked, why did you deny additional security requests that had been made for months? and could you not see this coming? and the c.i.a. needs to be asked a lot of questions also. a select committee, where you have members of intel, foreign relations and armed services, listening to all three agencies
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explain themselves i think is essential to get to the truth. i will not know what general petraeus says in the intel committee, and i won't get to ask him questions. there will be people in the intel committee that will not be able to ask secretary panetta, general ha*pl and others about the -- general hamm and others about the d.o.d. piece. the best thing for the senate to do, i think, is to have a bipartisan select committee where you combine the resources of all three of the committees who have jurisdiction over different pieces and create a professional approach to solving the problem. it will be run by our democratic colleagues because they're in charge of the body. it should be. there have been times in the past, iran-contra and other examples of where committees combine their resources to make sure that they full lip understand what was being said. if you stovepipe this and one committee goes one way and the other committee goes another way
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we're not going to get the complete picture of what happened in benghazi. that's what we're asking, is that the majority leader and minority leader create a select committee of the three kw-ts that have primary -- committees that have primary jurisdiction over each moving part so we can get to the bottom of this. here's why it's important. there are a lot of conspiracy theories going on on the internet. i'd like to be able to say that's not so because here's what we found. there's a lot of accusations being made against people i know and like. i'd like to say this accusation is unfounded. unfortunately if there is accountability to be had by somebody i like, i would say here's why we had to do it. it would help us all to go to the public and say we did this together. we did it in a professional, logical way, and here's the results of our work product so we can get benghazi behind us and move forward. until we do that, you're going to, i think, fail the american people. epbgt process -- i think the
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process we're engaging in today is going to lead to uncoordinated fact finding. pieces of the puzzle will never be put together because we're not talking or working together. i think you're going to let the families down. the process we're engaging in today will not get to the truth. mr. mccain: will the gentleman yield for a question? mr. graham: yes. mr. mccain: one of the most salient points of this whole scenario was five days after the attack when the ambassador to the united nations went on all sunday shows to allege that this was a spontaneous demonstration triggered by a hateful video. those talking points that the ambassador used didn't come from the c.i.a., is my opinion understanding. but it came from the white house. who in the white house, who? was it the president of the united states? was it one of his people?
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who was it that gave her talking points that indicated something for which there was no basis in fact, certainly not after five days. and did the president ask about this situation? did the president of the united states say wait a minute, is she going out there when -- right after on the program that i was on, "face the nation," the president of the libya national assembly came on right after and said this is an al qaeda attack, this is a terrorist attack. and then for days afterwards, the president of the united states goes out and including the united nations saying that this was a hateful video that triggered a flash mob. that none of this has a shred of credibility. and so we talk about the need for a select committee, when the house is responsible for these talking points, if they were, then that congress all the
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different oversight committees that we have in the united states senate. mr. graham: my response would be as follows. there is a news article coming somewhere from the state department saying the c.i.a. would be responsible for consulate security because this mostly was a c.i.a. operation. there is an article coming out of the c.i.a. corners, basically saying we responded very quickly and efficiently to the attack. here's my problem. if you don't have a select committee listening to all the stories, it's pretty hard to put the puzzle together. my response would be why did the people in the state department assigned to benghazi ask for support from the state department if this was, in fact, a c.i.a. responsibility? i want to hear the state department explain that. in a news article, you're trying to create the impression that we're a secondary player. well, that would be news to every state department official in libya because they were asking the state department for
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security. i'd like to challenge the c.i.a.'s narrative of what they did and how they did it, but i want to hear the complete story. the senator from new hampshire has been an attorney general prosecuting a case, and i would just like to get her input as to how efficient you think it would be for three committees to do their own investigations, never talk to each other in a coordinated fashion, have a stovepipe investigation versus a coordinated one body listening to everybody approach. a senator: i would answer the senator from north carolina that if we do not do a select committee and bring everyone together, what you envision is an incomplete story on each. ms. ayotte: first of all, we know that c.i.a. sources out out a timeline for the c.i.a. you have the state department talking about prior security requests and their view on it and emails that they sent on. and then you have the department of defense talking about putting out another timeline.
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where you are left is no investigation would be conducted in that way from your most basic incident to this, which is of course where four brave americans were murdered during what appears to be a terrorist attack. and so how are we then going to follow up to make sure that we get all the complete picture for the american people, to make sure that it doesn't happen again so that we can understand what went wrong and so that we can understand what lessons do we need to learn from this. but if each committee, the senate foreign relations deals with the state department piece and the senate armed services committee deals with the armed services piece, meaning why did the greatest military in the world, why weren't they in a position to respond when the attack occurred over seven hours, that's an important question that has to be answered in the military context, and then also thinking about the intelligence piece. the intelligence beforehand about the prior attacks, what
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was happening at the annex, what response, what information was provided also to the president in terms of the prior attacks so that he could be informed to make sure that the consulate was protected and why wasn't the consulate protected. if we conduct this separately, we will not have a full picture to the american people to make sure that we take the lessons learned and that this does not happen again. we saw that. that's why we had a post-9/11 commission is because many agencies were involved in wanting to get to the bottom of it. this is so important with four brave americans who have been killed, so many questions. more questions raised than answers right now. and most of all, we need to make sure that the complete picture of facts come forward. as the senator from south carolina said, many people have very different impressions about this, and there are a lot of conspiracy theories, so a full bipartisan committee that has full jurisdiction over every area of this to come up with a complete picture and
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recommendations makes sense and it is a way to go that we can -- we can answer these important questions to the american people and of course the families of those who lost their loved ones in benghazi. finally, i would say with respect to my colleague from arizona, senator mccain, today the president did say that with respect to susan -- ambassador susan rice on the sunday shows, that she did that on behalf of the white house. one of the questions that needs to be answered, within hours, there were emails that went to the white house from the state department that explained that a terrorist group ansar al-sharia was taking responsibility for this attack. so i think a question that needs to be answered is why then would the ambassador to the u.n. on behalf of the white house five days after the attacks even though this email went to the white house within hours, that a
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terrorist group is taking responsibility, go on every major news station and say that this was a spontaneous reaction to a video. and she expressly says this was not a preplanned or premeditated attack. why was that done? i think those are important questions that need to be addressed by this committee as well because clearly this was not what happened. it was a misstatement of what occurred. we need to understand why that was done, and the american people deserve answers on this when you have four brave americans who were murdered by a terrorist attack. mr. mccain: i only have one additional comment, and that is i understand that the president's press conference today, that he said not to -- quote -- pick on his ambassador to the united nations, to -- quote -- pick on him. that statement is really remarkable in that if the
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president thinks that we are picking on people, he really does not have any idea of how serious this issue is. i'm a united states senator. the senator from new hampshire is. we have our obligations. we have our duties, representing the people that sent us here. we're not picking on anybody. and i doubt if the families of these brave americans who were murdered would believe that we are -- quote -- "picking on anyone, that when we are trying to find out the facts, the american people deserve to know the facts. we can't ever let this happen again. we can't let a security situation evolve that our lives are in change. we can't ignore recommendations. we can't not have sufficient military available on a september 11 where we know the tensions are incredibly high.
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the american people owe -- are owed an explanation, and it's our duty to try to get that explanation for them. and if someone carried a message to the american people that was totally and utterly false with no basis in fact, then that person also has to be held accountable as well. but first and foremost, the president of the united states, the commander in chief, is the most responsible, and i hope the president has no illusions about our view of his responsibility, which i believe are those of the american people as well. so we need the select committee. there is no credibility left because of all the conflicting stories that have come out and the different rumors and different statements and contradictory statements and finger pointing. the american people deserve answers. not only because of those who were murdered but to make sure that a tragedy like this never happens again.
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and i repeat, everybody has their responsibilities. we have ours. the president has his. we intend to pursue this until the american people have the answers that they deserve and they have confidence that these kinds of mistakes will never be repeated. we take that very seriously. we have some disagreement when it's called -- quote -- "picking on >> the role of women in the election. in about an hour and a half, president obama's news conference. john boehner on his party should -- parties election. nancy pelosi says she wants to continue to lead a party in the house.
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all "washington journal tomorrow morning, ron paul. siebel take your questions about tomorrow's hearing -- he will take your questions about tomorrow's hearing. the kaiser family foundation. "washington journal" is live on c-span every day at 7:00 eastern. >> tremendous vice-president for 82 days. -- harry truman was vice president for 82 days. nowadays, the vice president does not bother with that. he was there every day presiding over the senate. it was a transition with a zero
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knowledge. that does not happen anymore. he got a phone call from the white house. he picked up the phone, at the other end, get to the white house as an issue can. he grabbed his hat. he had a car, of course. he went to the white house and was taken upstairs to the second floor. he upstairs to the second floor. he was met by eleanor roosevelt. she said, the president is dead. he was in total shock. can i do for you? she said, what can we do for you? >> aida donald looks at the life
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of harry truman. sunday night at 8:00. >> a forum on women in the 2012 election. debbie wasserman schultz and claire mccaskill. he said, what >> i realize we are standing room only, which is great. my name is stephanie schriock. [applause] i am the president of emily's list. thank you on behalf of emily's list for joining us this morning.
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we're so excited to be here. we won. [applause] we won across the board. it was an historic night. we're glad to bring folks together today to share in that celebration. we want to talk about what we learned through this election as we move forward. this election was really about women. it was about women voters and it was about women candidates and women leaders. that is an incredible place for all of us. we will have a few special guests here today and then we will sit down with an incredible group of women leaders to talk about research and other things we saw regarding women voters. just to step back and think about emily's list and are 27
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years, it is a simple proposition. we elect pro-choice democratic women to office. that is our goal and our mission. we do by recruiting women, by training, by supporting our candidates, and by building a network that gives financial and moral support to women who want to take this time. i was just talking to elizabeth warren on saturday and reminiscing about our very first conversation, which was during the recruitment face -- phase. she reminded me that i said that she could win this race, and it would not be that bad. i said to elizabeth, i do not remember saying that it was not going to be bad. that is what we do. those are the conversations that
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are so meaningful. it is really those -- we are with you the entire way. we're so proud of all of them. we have mobilized a network of 2 million women and some really good men in our membership. they are focused to electing women across the country. we put together the programs to turnout women voters. but look at this 2012 and think about this. we've just elected an historic number of women. that is an incredible step for us. 80% of far endorsed candidates were successful last week. i will take that record in the day.
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that has been a lot of hard work to get there. i am sure she will be happy to this week. we have 16 coming in this week, three of them a -- under the age of 40. that is what our network brings together.
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women with such a diverse paths, that is going to bring this country together. in new hampshire, we have the first states in the union that has a full delegation and a woman governor. that is an incredible story. it has taken us a while to get there, and we do that by having massive growth. we have grown five times over in the last two years. those folks help us raise more than $51 million. we could not have done this
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without the women voters. the women voters were key. we realize from the research we did on an election night. we are going to hear this is not a one-issue election. our research shows the economic issues matter just as much as two women -- as much to women as social issues. 78% of the women polled rates equal pay among the most important issues, and who can disagree? 80 per cent sign said the same thing about medicare. while women understood and rejected all aspects, we found they were even more motivated for a candidate. 76% of the women we polled said
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they voted for a candidate, and only 16% said they voted against a candidate. that is incredibly important. that means we are on the right side of the agenda war with these women. 89% rated that as very important that they have the right priorities for the future. they really understand something big happen. when we told them we had a historic amount of women, 66% felt that would make a positive difference, and only 80% of the opposite. people know the importance, and this is going to move women forward.
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they reacted by sending a group of people to washington they knew and could trust to have the right priorities. out of the projects, we asked them about everything, and i am sure they were thrilled. the candidate they voted against, they were really concerned those candidates were going to take us back to the failed policies of the past. they got it. they do not want to roll the clock back. as they want to move forward. rather than social issues or taxes, when then recognize the total man man agenda is what they did not -- women recognize the total mad man agenda they did not want.
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we just need to keep building and talking in to our fellow sisters across the country and the men who stand with us, they know we can make a difference. we do have a couple of special , and if i am correct, i can hear one walking down the hallway. let me do something quick. you are going to hear from the senator, who is a dear friend of mine. she was also coming in and have the opportunity to get to know her and her staff, an incredible leader for this country, and she has one hell of our race from
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the very beginning. from the very beginning, she knew what she had to do. do not think it is just by chance. there is a reason she still in the united states senate. she figured this out early. she made it happen. she knows missouri better than anyone else. she is an independent voice. she is one of the smartest people when it comes to understanding where the voters are. you are going to hear from her in just a moment, but there is another leader who just came and who will announce very shortly. we are going to have debby speak shortly, but before i do that, i am going to have senator mike castle, on up -- mccaskell, and
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tear on for making sure todd a kid is not in the senate. -- akin is not in the senate. >> she raised the bar so high that she has a lot of work to do. i do want to recognize all the people who work for emily's list besides stephanie, because you are special. you do not come to emily's list because you want to make big money. you come because you want to make a difference. thank you. i think it is important to do that. i am the senator who brought euayou todd akin.
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congressman akin became well known across the country after he opened a window into his beliefs. it wasn't what he said that was a problem. it was what he believed, and it crystallized for voters what the real contrast was. for a moment, it was like, now i understand. it was not because women are typically 56% of the electorate. it is because they become
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motivated. it was a list of things that motivated the women. this is someone who said he believed employers should have a freedom to discriminate based on gender, that the government should not interfere in the workplace and forms of -- in terms of equal pay. this is a man who said we should abolish the minimum wage. this list of things, it was a list of things that disqualify him to voters. if i have any message, it is that we cannot get so focused on one issue that we lose sight of
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what the motivation is. it is about security. it is about figuring out how to get the kids to college. it is about whether or not they are working two or three jobs so they are not struggling to get their child to day care while they are figuring out the bus routes. after the election was over and after we were all exhausted, what was interesting was the reaction of the republican leadership. we heard a lot of talk about we need to do a lot of outreach. i have not heard any kind of
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acknowledgment they do not get why women are rejecting their agenda in record numbers. if you look around the campaign, whether it was donnie brazil, who is running a presidential campaign in this country almost a decade ago. the reason our country gets it is because we respect women, and we need women in decisionmaking positions. i will never forget looking at the convention floor and looking at the republican and convention and saying this is why i do what i do, because i am proud to be part of a party that wants to be america, and as long as we keep
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focusing on those issues, and as long as we fight every day to make sure women in this country have an equal seat in this country, not just because there are one or two of them, but because they are the ones actually moving the levels of power, and that is what emily's list does. you have good people to move to the levers of power, and our country is better for it. i am so grateful. i have said i would not be in the senate in the first place without you. thank you from the bottom of my heart, and let's keep working as well. >> thank you so much, and we are so proud. our entire membership is so proud. our membership and raise more money than we have ever raised
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for anybody. we are so proud for her. i want to make one more hit new introduction of somebody who has become a friend. she has always been a role model, and she has been an incredible leader. debbie wasserman schulze has taken on many jobs. she is a great congresswoman from florida. she is a mother, never an easy job, and she has decided yes when asked to be the share of our party at the national democratic committee, and never an easy job. she has done an incredible job, and i just want you to think about what she has done at the helm of our great party.
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not only does she ensure the reelection of barack obama, but she did it by making sure there was a constant conversation about what women were facing in which their health care and their lives every day, making sure everyone in this country knew what was at stake. i think she will deliver florida, which is pretty impressive. she has been an incredible leader, and someone to look at, and we really do see her as a role model, so we hope even though i knew she has three major jobs, and i know they are very much hoping she keeps all three jobs, because we cannot imagine seeing the next two years where we still have to fight to get a house back. we have one more thing we need to do.
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having debby wasserman schulz will help us get there. thank you so much. >> i brought carnes of -- cards up. first we need to celebrate stephanie, because i know these things are mutual love says, -- fests, but if women do not celebrate one another, we have already seen nobody celebrates us. any organization that goes through generational change faces risk. when emily's list was founded, this was an organization that became iconic and almost interchangeably identified with her. i can tell you i spent all of my
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ing andve years admire reaga loving ellen. the risk that an organization faces when the generation that began the organization moved on is that it is so tied to that person it could never be the same. not only is it a credit to ellen, they were very wise about who they chose to succeed her, chose ison emily's list show incredible, the right leader for the right time, and this election's results could not be a more clear example of that.
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congratulations. we cannot say enough about stephanie's success. let's go through that success. i think it is important. women came out for president obama with 55 votes. 184 women ran for congressional office, and 40% of the u.s. population has at least one when and senator. -- one woman senator. new hampshire has and all women delegation and a woman governor as well as a female state house. they are still women. we are moving in the right direction. this is my favorite. when the hundred 13th congress and gavels in, it will be with when the women senators -- with
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20 women senators. that is particularly gratifying -- i remember being in a similar discussion two years ago agonizing that we had to drop the number of women in congress for the first-time since 1992, and some of us thought, how did we lose the momentum? how are we going to get it back? there was a lot of soul- searching, but rather than spend two years hand wringing, when then got to work, and we got to work recruiting. we were clearly helped by the republicans, because out of the gate they had a decision to make. they could have made it more
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moderate. the third bill out of the gate was a bill that would have redefined it. that sent the clearest signal about what was in store for us across the country. they could have left it at that. the assault on planned parenthood, the idea we should we site the battle of whether we have access to birth control and. i will conclude with this. you have an amazing panel led by dee dee myers, who has been an incredible leader and is also a mom. the whole ginger rogers that women do everything men do but they do it in high heels to back words, that is what it is all about. i would love to have a man spent
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a day in the life of the women in this room and try to get done what we balance in order to make sure we can make everything work and help the people we care about thrive, but the important thing here is that we continue to move forward. we have to double down in 2014. we have got to make sure we recruit more women to run for office. it is not just a slogan that when when run -- when women run they win. take a good look when the house convenes after the congress is sworn in at what our side of the eye looks like versos the republican side. -- our side of the idol looks like versus the republican side. it is pretty amazing. no matter what i do, i will be
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helping you double down, doing everything i can to make sure we move forward. i can look out and see a lot of other moms in the audience, and now that we make sure we make life better for the generation of young girls we are raising. every time we are in a program like this, we need to remind ourselves to reach behind us and pull another woman of the next round of the latter. it is critical. it is about filling our ranks so we have so many opportunities for women in the future. thank you so much.
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congratulations. i am going to the democratic caucus. >> what is next? thank you all for being here again. i am going to introduce our panel. you have been introduced, but i want to make a couple points. to quintuple the membership, before she was president of emily's list, stephanie was confident she was the last -- the best democratic campaign in the country. she brought that experience to emily's list. next is an award winning media
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consultant with 20 years of experience. she had to jobs. -- two jobs. we will hear more from her about the democratic priorities. next to her is the vice president of planned parenthood federation of america. she is an award winning writer and director as well, and the secretary treasurer of ask me, which represents 1.6 million workers. welcome to all of you. thank you for being here. we just heard a lot about where
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you are. going into the election cycle there were two women in the united states senate. we have made great progress. how do we keep going? >> i was talking about is just the other day. -- i was talking about is just the other day. she said, we knew it was coming a couple years ago. i think that is part of where we are right now. the good news is because of the work we have done, we have a pipeline for women.
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they came up with surprise open seats in hawaii and wisconsin. they were ready to take that opportunity. we have great and women in the house of representatives today that i expect to see running for the senate very soon. >> how important is recruiting? what did you find in this cycle bowma? >> we start training women who are running for the legislature, and it starts garthere, and we keep having these conversations, but it does affect the conversation. this allows us to go in when the moments come and say, this is a sign you have got to go. they think about it, and we go back.
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we make them do it, but the truth is we have an incredible pool of women. we have to do a lot more work to ensure we have a larger pipeline, particularly in various parts of the country, but i look at california. we have a great female delegation out there, but we also have those who have been there for 20 years. many of them are elected 20 years ago. how long are they going to stay, and are we prepared for the alabama -- are we prepared for that? >> some people said this is a good year for women because men said dumb things. is this about a couple of men saying dumb things? >> this is the year women when
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fire broke. it was the same way -- when men went -- women went viral. could say this was the year of the woman candidate. this was the year of the diverse woman. this was the year of the woman's uterus. a lot more got involved whereas years ago it was about a group of women running. now it is about a lot of women participating in a lot of new ways. some of that is just because of a changed landscape of internet and all that, but i think it is a critically important point, which is those guys were! at the end of a diatribe against women and women's health care. i would argue i think we are making a mistake to think about
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this as economic issues and social issues. $600 and birth control costs is that new car down payment. almost half of the gains for women economically in terms of pay have been directly traded back to the pill andwrowe. this is not just about, i think i will think about social issues if you catch breast cancer when it is stage one and , that has a lotcommo of economics. this is a different environment, and we should not let the republicans say, we can just hide this. i do not want to hear how you hide your views. i want to hear how you change
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your views. >> when you see the message on how to integrate these ideas that they are part of the issues s?at affect your live specimen >> when we were targeting battleground states, these women were reacting to what voters were reacting to. when we are talking about getting more and women into the pipeline, i want to go back to the big story of this campaign and recruiting and getting more women involved and waking up that independent voter, who is becoming more conscious of these issues but also thinking about running and which party they might align with the reagan -- they might align with. one thing we talked about is the amount of money spent on these
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campaigns that paralyzes the candidates, because they look at it like, how can i even take that on? part of these independent female voters. >> turning out women, i think this was not just about women candidates, but women about the board. how important is this labor movement? how important is turning out women to the labor movement?
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, but in explaining it to their communities, and made sure they went out to vote and reached out their hands and brought other people with them. >> a particular priority was turning out women. why did the emphasis shift. such a bigger part of this, this not quite told story. the sense of empowerment. >> it is the best recipe for turnout.
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it came home to roost in this election cycle. >> in 2010, they did hide the ball. they said, we are all about the economy. hr-1, hr-2, defund planned parenthood. they were the same old thing. these last two years, the was repaired,g, the birth control refusal, how we became an issue, it just became part of this narrative. what is going on? what do they believe?
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here are some people talking to my real life and seem to actually get what i deal with on a day-to-day basis. that is a one-two punch. >> to even add to all of the health-care issues, birth control is only a social issue if you do not have to pay for it. these are all economic. on top of that and underneath, you also have the attacks on bargaining. so many of our women are members of unions. they are already not getting the same pay as it is. equal pay is already an issue. now we have a tax on collective bargaining. then there is a concept about voucherizing medicare.
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some of our focus groups were stunning. we asked what their biggest concerns were. they said, i am afraid i will not be able to retire. people in their 60's and in their 30's. 30-year-olds worrying about this. there is no sense of security. that is an important part. economic security, safety, and having some voice in your future. a huge piece of what we sought in particular the wisconsin and ohio, it is huge. >> when you talk about health care, social issues, we are talking about everyday lives. i think, with my experience, and my sister and brothers, we are
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talking about the everyday person and getting through the day and being able to pay your bills and go to the doctor. my experience traveling through this campaign, i will share a story for you. there is a disabled son. a 26-year-old. so ruble policy -- some real policy -- sorry bowl -- sorry bharal palsy -- his mother, a middle-aged woman, she wants equal pay. on top of that fear is, will i have health care. if i am not healthy, who will help my son?
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>> did you find you had different messages for different age groups? were those concerns the same? >> it was interesting. i had the unique opportunity of running around the country in these battleground states. the younger women would say, i cannot believe we are talking about these issues that my mother talked to me about and the battles were beaten back in the 70's. -- 1970's. the mother said, i dealt with this 30 years ago. from both sides of the generational gap, there was this frustration and a rejection of the candidates and the policies from the past, regardless of whether it was mitt romney -- mitt romney or
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any other of these jokers and around the country. they said, not them. it has to be someone else. it closed and the age gap that might of existed. >> women's health issues, do you find there is an age divide on these issues? >> this year we did more significant modelling than in the past. not only did we did -- did we do the traditional choice model for legal abortion, but we also looked around -- at favorability around planned parenthood and birth control. and president's policy of expanded access. we crunched all of that together in the formula. it did reveal an entire group of people who were frankly less concerned on the abortion front.
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they were not bad, but less concerned, but definitely from an age-perspective, very concerned about birth control. we were in tight partnership with emily's list, sharing models and targets and working on the independent side. there was definitely some age gap. there was an enthusiasm to surpass the turnout of younger voters from four years ago that republicans that against young people and all of us that on them. -- republicans bet against young people and all of us bet on
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them. >> i feel like, from a tactical standpoint, i do not think they had any were close to the kind of polling and data that we had we had an entire analytics department that went on for an entire year. people are mostly ph.d.'s mining data, particular focus on independent voters. we were able to adjust our conversation, whether it was access to birth control, whatever it might be for women's health, we were able to communicate to them and really have this long-term conversation
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with them about issues they were telling us were important. >> were those issues democratic women were responding to? >> not necessarily. the democratic women, from a tactical standpoint, we were going out to independent female voters and in some cases republican female voters because they were reacting so strongly to our message. we expanded that universe. >> there is economic issues and social issues. we can focus on the economic issues and we will try to count down until somebody says something crazy. they are not understanding that, for women and families, these are all tied together and we look at the post-election polling that we are just really diving into now. it is clear that all of this is
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tied together for women voters. you cannot separate them out. you cannot separate -- you cannot separate out your economic security with access to health care. >> it is interesting in our earliest focus groups that we did back in june, we talked to women and thought, this is the role these issues have. for some people, they were ative.in there was a whole group that it looked like we could expand the amount of time they were willing to give the president and the economy to recover. we could hold them in undecided by making mitt romney questionable in their minds. it could hold the elevator doors
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open. see the president paz's campaign have that closing argument to tip them over. that was the role we played in there with these independent women. >> is there a difference in the way you talk to voters if you are trying to get them vote for president obama vs trying to get them to vote for a woman running for the senator or the house? >> who should start? [laughter] >> in the tammy baldwin campaign, there are differences
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and similarities on the obama campaign. overall, it was a rejection of the policies and canada's of the past, whether that was tommy thompson or mitt romney. from a paid media perspective, and someone who is calling shots on whether or not we are putting resources into mail, television, on-line. we started this campaign with a healthy view of business united. campaign, we knew we needed to divine -- the fine, thompson as soon as possible. - d. fine define -- defined -
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tommy thompson as soon as possible. our job was to define him quickly and maintain our competitive edge. the shocking news was that they gave us about 30 days free and they did not come in and give tommy any cover. same thing with the obama campaign. we spend our resources early. we were lucky enough to remain competitive the entire campaign. our objective was we had to define these candidates early. to make the theme of voters know where they stood on female issues. >> the partnership was planned
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out more than a year ago with the gay and lesbian fund. with that, we ended up spending $3.50 million, the biggest program we had ever done in the history of the organization. define ,there and a fin thompson, at a time where karl rove and none of those groups came to wisconsin for 30 days, it was astounding. everyone thought the race was done because tommy thompson was in the league. i talked to folks a week before the election who thought tammy did not have a chance. what that meant for her, and this is important for women candidates, is she had to define herself. it gave her the ability to
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really say who she was, what she was going to do, and that you had a choice. gets back to the polling we saw. this was an election where they voted for the candidates with the right priorities. they voted for tammy baldwin, they voted for barack obama. that was the partnership of defining who the republicans really are. they helped a lot with taught a can -- todd akin. i think that was really important. >> in june, when i went to our board and said, i like to spend all of the money in the bank now. it really was. we saw we were going to be out spent.
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enough is as good as a feast. we had to get in there. and they would have a hard havtime undefining themselves. one group i still think we have to work on, it was not enough for the year of the women pungent -- pundit. we are getting screwed out there. any of the women would be as great as any of the men up there. it bothers me. thank god we have you and a few people. any guy seems to be able to get on their. i would like to see all of you on there.
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there was really not the coverage of that on the talk- show circuit. >> as a pundit, every time i would go there, that it was an interesting year for women evolving, they said, yeah, yeah, there she goes. let's get back to the real issues. it is a movement that has long been run by them. >> as far as in our union, no. the new leadership, that we empower women, we give women opportunities, and we look forward to seeing women in leadership. >> we are going to talk a little bit and look ahead a minute and
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turn it over to open up questions. the thinking of what you would like to ask our distinguished panel. for the first time, the democratic caucus will be not majority white male. how does that change things going forward? how does that change the legislative agenda and everything else? >> we get the question a lot. does it matter to elect women? yes. yes it does. we did research this summer. what we saw is that the women who are serving in the house and senate, a couple things happen as you get more and more. one, on average, they have more progressive voting records than their male colleagues. you have a more progressive agenda moving just by how they vote. you also have a change in the
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debate dialogue. a really good example of this, a senator tells the story often when she was in the house and nancy pelosi first became a speaker, they added a whole bunch of women. during the committee hearing, they would go by seniority and the men would go first because they had been there the longest. they talked a lot how many mr missiles, the military. important questions. the women would say, what we do to train the troops and what to do when they come home. also incredibly important a discussion for a military that is going to be drawn the future. that is what the prospective spring. it is widening the conversation. we will end up with policies that are truly moving the country forward, that are best for our communities. it is more of a representative
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democracy. >> we will look like the country. >> that is right. any questions? >> [indiscernible] a lot of the conservative lemon's groups -- women's groups came out after the election to say it was a mistake for the republican candidates to dismiss abortion and birth control and within's issues in general. if they had been more outspoken on social issues, it might have helped them. i do not understand how that could happen. it seems like every time they opened their mouth on social issues, everybody jumped on them and they did not serve them well. should they have emphasized it
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more or is it just that they have the wrong position? >> ralph reed said in direct contrast, we did not leave any voters on the table. we had the best turnout operation we ever had. we contacted them. we did everything. i think if they do not make that case, they become increasingly irrelevant. there is no evidence, no exit poll, supporting for safe, legal abortion, contraception. women said contract exception -- contraception was considered in the presidential race. it was on the radar of this many people. it is a protected territory kind of argument within the party. there is not be there really is an impetus for change.
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-- there is really an impetus for change. >> the republican party, i think everybody realizes this year that in their platform, the national platform, there is a line that says there would be no abortions even in cases of rape or, these extreme positions. that has been there. we just all of the sudden realized what is going on. they are trying to energize their very core base, probably their funding base. the truth is, they do not have a winning coalition with this issue. this country is moving forward on this. they want to hold it back on this issue. they are coming to have to really decide what they want moving forward. a former bush adviser wrote recently, the next republican man that says anything about
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rape other than that it is really bad, they will personally cut their tongue out. [laughter] it is interesting that they brought it up. we democrats did not go, let's run on choice and birth control. it did not occur to us. is it not like, whoever brings it up kind of ends up being on the defensive backs or not? -- on the defensive? or not? >> we have to look at these issues being motivating. in a general election now, it is clear these issues will play in our favor. it will be a question of what happens in an oft-year election -- oof-year election. >> i talked to a lot of
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republican and moderate women who said to me, where is my voice in this party? i cannot see anyone who looks like me. i am a moderate, pro-choice, often republican-leaning woman, but i do not see myself. i have no voice. the message to the republican party is, i am in the business of helping democrats get elected. they kill off that republican, pro-choice woman in the republican primaries. she is now extinct. she does not exist. that is unfortunate for our government and nation. because i think that does not help governing. it does not help coalitions. >> with the women who are winning, if you were to look at the line of 27 years of women getting elected to the house and the senate, the numbers in the
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house were basically even between republican and democratic women. in the senate, there were two republicans, but now, 27 years later, we have got a senate where there are 20 women. 16 are democrats and four are republicans. one was pro-choice. they said, enough. this is not a comfortable place for me to be. that is disconcerting. the house, where we have 58 democratic women to approximately 21 republican women, this is a huge change. the republican party has got to look at it. their policies are not supportive of women in general. until they change their policies, this will not change.
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>> the house was interesting. there are people who all lost and were really extreme on these issues. we had a few republicans and moderates left to also lost. it was an interesting thing to poke at what was going on. >> thank you so much. i am the director of the reproductive health for the national partnership of families. how do we use this opportunity to move forward the conversation on abortion in particular? we do have a pro-choice country. it is a tricky issue. i get concerned it is framed the way it was just friend. i think that is what democrats thought for a long time. it was forced on them. all of a sudden, they said, this is working, let's run with it. we saw a shift.
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can we keep that? when we talk about economic, abortion is still getting there for women. it is a real challenge. i would love to hear how to keep that momentum. >> we have got to change the language. pro-choice and pro-life, they worked for us in the room and people on the edges of the spectrum, but they do not work for the middle of america. they do not work for young people. this is a real change in terms of the whole idea of labeling oneself as being trapped with some label is antithetical to them. if you for somebody to say, are you pro-choice or pro-life, you are actually pushing more people
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into the category called pro- life. they will personally define themselves because they would say, i would not have an abortion or that is not my thing. for whatever reason. if you say, do you want to protect safe, legal abortion as an option for women, it takes longer to say but you get almost all of those people into a 60% coalition, rather than pushing them over. a big part of this is, what worked for us, what worked when this started, is not necessarily the conversation we have to go forward with. we have to acknowledge and let people come out of corners into a more complex conversation that will help us. complexity actually helps us a little bit where as the hard line thing tends to push people into positions that i do not think are helpful for us. it is a winning issue, but not if we insist on doing it one way. >> one of the things, and i
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wonder, we have seen this in your conversations, a lot of women, particularly young women, thought this was solved and there was no threat to legal abortion. is this, this prospect that this was not true? >> i think so. as i have moved through, i thought, how this young regeneration, we have talked about this a lot. are they as concerned about these issues? i will tell you. this election was a huge wake-up call to this young degeneration f women who said, oh my gosd, motherere the placethings my and my aunt talked about.
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i do think it has been an awakening. i do not wish this would be the way the awakening would occur. if this is what has to happen, i am all for it. i think younger women, the increase of the women who are getting involved in campaigns, and also younger women running for office, are all signs that they are taking the fight on and they are ready to go to battle. >> yes? >> my name is cindy. i want to thank you all. [indiscernible] i want to know, i am listening to you and thinking, if they are talking about this, then the other side must have figured out what they did this time. what happens going forward? so we can stay a step ahead of
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what they are going to figure out we were doing this time? >> that is a good question. it is interesting. you heard what popped out, it has been immigration reform. which they should be talking about. what i have not heard come out of the republicans, except for the incredibly socially conservative groups, is that they did not talk about abortion enough. i am not hearing they are getting this lesson yet with women. will that change? we will see. the truth is, they have got a huge challenge because their core funding base is very much anti-choice. that is not moving.
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they are not sure what to do here. what we have to make sure, because we cannot control what , is make sure emily's list has to keep growing. planned parenthood cass to keep growing. our brothers and sisters in the labor movement have to keep going -- growing. they are energized. we have to make that happen moving forward. we have to keep expanding our network. we have the tools and data and information to do it. we have to keep folks engaged on the issues. they are still, we will see a
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lot of stuff coming out of a lot of these legislatures. we have a big election coming up in 2014. not only do we have the house, which we would like to get back, but we have most of the governors' races up. a lot of our governors in this country are very conservative republicans. we need to focus a lot of our energy and ensuri. so much damage has been done on abortion rights, women's health care. this is where some much is happening. -- so much is happening. >> thanks to the election of maggie, we will have one democratic governor next year. one. >> we just had a really bad 2010. we had great women running,
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great democrats, men and women, and we lost those races. i look at 2014 and i see an incredible pool of women who are seriously considering running for governor in a whole variety of states in the country and we have to get support around them. it is important for our party structure to realize how important these governorships are. we tend to focus on the senate and house. we do not focus nationally on the governorship as much as we should. we have to do that. that is where this is happening right now. we have got the candidates. we have to make sure they get the support around them or we will not deliver. >> planned parenthood is not papartisan. it makes it a little bit of a different actor. in 2013, i also think it will reunite the band.
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the republican candidates have agendas that pretty much match up with the agendas of the people who ran this year. we will have in virginia an opportunity to really keep these themes going. it happens in the backyard of washington d.c. to really keep this stuff in the forefront, building toward 2014. that is an exciting opportunity. >> good point. >> yes? >> emily, majority council member. rustin about one aspect of the value of women candidates. i was so struck by the margin which the castl-- i am sure there were many factors there. what i am curious about is whether you think, how much of
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it was because of a woman running against a neanderthal verses a man running against a neanderthal? [laughter] >> every single race has such a unique dynamics. i think, i would have to really look into it. part of what happened in missouri is there was a much longer stretch. think of when todd akin started unraveling, it was two months ago. when murdoch started, it was three weeks out. the timing of it had a piece of it. there was also, there was a libertarian candidate in missouri that also took some of that, which may be divided wider. a senator made the point that 66% of the electorate were women. i do not know what the electorate was in indiana.
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i think that goes to having more time to really educate women in missouri and kept them engaged and realized what was at stake, and it really drove up the turnout. >> nationally, too. we have not mentioned it, but 64% of the electorate in the national election was women. they have to look at that and say, either we win more women or we do not win at all. >> no one seems to be doing the calibration that winning by a larger percentage among a larger percentage is bigger numbers. >> i get the map. [laughter] -- math. [laughter] week to talk among ourselves all day long. [laughter]
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-- we could talk to among ourselves all day long. [laughter] >> the caps really increased this year between -- from 2008. what we know about expense of why hispanic happen overwhelmingly became democratic r?ters this year perr >> we see gender gaps across the board. women are voting for democrats. whether they are white or hispanic, across the board. the hispanic growth in general is incredible. that is another piece of a
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growing demographic in the electorate that the republicans will have to figure out. we see more and more hispanic women getting engaged in politics, as well. it is part of the work that we are doing. we want to recruit more candidates, as well. there is an opportunity moving forward. it is a huge, growing population in this country. i am sure there is more specific polling on the demographic breakdowns, specifically in regards to choice. there has always been a sense of, maybe we do not have as strong as a position with hispanic women, but this is all wrapped up into a larger issue. it is all incredibly important. >> we have a couple of polls that have come out.
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i can hint at, among the latino women, they are overwhelmingly pro-contraception and supporting safe, legal abortion. that is the good news. there is may be a catholic conflict in there. the catholic advocate, a very conservative publication wrote, if the bishop position was on the ballot, it got walloped. [laughter] >> another demographic that is overlooked is on married women -- unmarried women. what does that tell us? >> it goes back to our young leaders, young women, and making
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sure they know about the issues and have opportunity. i think we will see a surge of young, new leaders emerging. if we do our jobs. >> the big challenge for these unmarried women in particular -- [laughter] it is a competing category. it is, how do you reach them? they are harder to reach. you have a younger population not watching as much television. they are tivoing and huluing all of their shows, they are on their phones, and everyone will have an analytics department that will study, how do we reach these folks, where are they? what do they react to and what
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are the messages that work? the reality is, that costs a lot of money. our candidates who are communicating to these great potential voters of unmarried young women, or aging women, is, how do we reach them and communicate to them? >> yes? >> hi. i was wondering, you mentioned that you are wondering if these issues will play the same role in the midterm election. can you talk a little bit about the differences going into the midterm election, how you hope women's issues will continue to play? do you have early targets going into 2013? i know we just finished 2012. but i would love to hear.
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>> the implementation of the affordable care act is really what is going to keep this on the radar. the birth control benefits are actually rolling into effect over the course of the year. people get it at different times depending on their enrollment. women will begin to see the benefit coming to them, where they are getting their birth control without a co-pilot -- pay.k if you give women exactly president obama's policy, access to low-cost contraception, you could reduce unintended pregnancy by 72%. the facts are there. we need to make it come alive for people. we need to use implementation of that access, full access to planned parenthood, services is a real issue.
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the state legislatures are already seeing a tax on services. we saw hundreds of thousands of women cut off of services in texas. we are in legal battles. we get an injunction and they get it listed. if you want to see the plan atht now for america, looks a texas. look at governor perry. that is what we have to keep on 2013.s minesds in >> a follow-up. now that a lot of republicans will not repeal it because it is the law of the land, does that still become an issue? >> we still see the bishop taking a hard-line position against the contraception benefit.
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i think people like laura barack up, we need to be more vigorous. they do not have control over these people any more than our people have control over us. they are not going to be able to get unity. they will have people saying and doing even more extreme things. they do not have the senate or the presidency. we will see 1000 weed's coming coming up at the state level. that is the challenge. how do you make what happens in ohio and oklahoma and florida, alive.e >> after this loss, we have to see a hunkering down. we have to win. instead of what you would like
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to see, a broadening, stepping tok, what we need to chdo change, by the conservatives. mitt romney was not conservative enough, that is what you started to hear. this is their tendency. you asked about targets. this is a huge deal. these legislatures and governorships need to be brought back to the democratic control. we basically have a list of republican governors, and we will start recruiting. it does make a huge difference. in all of the states, they have control over how the health care reform is getting implemented. there will be flight after flight after flight. it will be a different fight in every state. this will be a huge issue for years to come. we have to make for women and families are protected.
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we will matt -- we will need democratic leaders. and more women at the table will make a huge difference for women in this country. >> we are out of time. any closing thoughts? >> we have to make sure we keep the issues on the forefront and we make sure we do our job to really empower other women. like we heard, it is to reach out to our new and upcoming leaders and push them forward as a move up, our selves -- we move up, ourselves now. >> thank you all of you for being here. we will see you down the road. [applause] nancy pelosi is announcing right now she is running for leadership.
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>> in a few moments, president obama's conference this afternoon. a little less than an hour from now, house speaker john boehner. followed by nancy pelosi saying she wants to continue her party in the house. senators at both parties talk about the elections. a committee holds a hearing tomorrow morning on general at joesph dunford replace and general john allen. the miami book fair international is live this weekend with two days of nonfiction books.
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featured authors include bill and a look at opher hitchens. try us live with exclusive author chats on facebook. president obama spoke with reporters for a little less than an hour today. this was his first news conference since earlier this year. >> good afternoon, everybody. please have a seat. i hear you have some questions for me. but let me just make a few remarks at the top and then i'll open it up. first of all, i want to reiterate what i said on friday. right now, our economy is still recovering from a very deep and damaging crisis. so our top priority has to be
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jobs and growth. we've got to build on the progress that we've made. because this nation succeeds when we've got a growing, thriving middle class. and that's the idea at the core of the plan that i talked about on the campaign trail over the last year, rewarding manufacturers and small businesses that create jobs here, not overseas, providing more americans the chance to earn skills that businesses are looking for right now. keeping this country at the forefront of research, technology, and clean energy, putting people back to work rebuilding roads, bridges and schools and reducing our deficit in a balanced and responsible way. on this last item, we face a very clear deadline. that requires us to make some big decisions on jobs, taxes, and deficits by the end of the year. both parties voted to set this deadline. and i believe that both parties can work together to make these decisions in a balanced and responsible way.
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yesterday, i had a chance to meet with labor and civic leaders for their input. today i meet with c.e.o.'s of some of america's largest companies. and i'll meet with leaders of both party of congress before the week is out because there's only one way to solve the channels and that is to do it together. as i've said before, i'm open to compromise and i'm hope to new ideas. and i've been encouraged over the last week to hear republican after republican agree on the need for more revenue from the wealthiest americans as part of our arithmetic if we're serious about reducing the deficit. because when it comes to taxes, there are two pathways available. option one, if congress fails to act by the end of this year, everybody's taxes will automatically go up, including the 98% of americans who make less than $250,000 a year and the 97% of small businesses who earn less than $250,000 a year. that doesn't make sense.
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thatconomy can't afford right now. certainly no middle class family can afford that right now. and nobody in either party says they want it to happen. the other option is to pass a law right now that would prevent any tax hike whatsoever on the first $250,000 of everybody's income. and by the way that means every american including the wealthiest americans get a tax cut. it means that 9 -- 9 % of all americans and 97% of all small businesses won't see their taxes go up a single dime. the senate has already passed a law like this. democrats in the house are ready to pass a law like this. i hope republicans in the house come on board too. we should not hold the middle class hostage while we debate tax cuts for the wealthy. we should at least do what we agree on and that's to keep middle class taxes lower. and i'll bring everyone in to sign it right away so we can
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give folks some certainty before the holiday season. i won't pretend that figuring out everything else will be easy but i'm confident we can do it. i know we have. to i know that that's what the american people want us to do. that was the very clear message from the election last week. that was message of a letter i received over the weekend. it came from a man in tennessee who began by writing that he didn't vote for me. which is ok. but what he said was, even though he didn't give me his vote, he's giving me his support to move this country forward. and he said the same to his republican representatives in washington. he said that he'll back each of us regardless of party as long as we work together to make life better for all of us. he made it clear that if we don't make enough progress he'll be back in touch. so my hope, he wrote, is that we can make progress in light
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of personal and party principles, special interest groups and years of business as usual. we've got to work together and put our differences aside. i couldn't say it better myself. that's precisely what i intend to do. with that, let me open it up for your questions. i'm going to start off with ben of a.p. >> thank you, mr. president. can you assure the american people that there have been no breaches of national security in the scandal involving generals petraeus and allen and do you think you and as commander in chief and the american people should have been told of the investigation before the election? >> i have no evidence from what i've seen that classified information was disclosed that
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in any way would have had a negative impact on our national security. obviously, there's an ongoing investigation. i don't want to comment on the specifics of the investigation. the f.b.i. has its own protocols in terms of how they proceed. i'm going to let director mueller and others examine those protocols and make some statements to the public generally. i do want to emphasize what i've said before. yen petraeus had an extraordinary career. he served this country with great distinction in iraq, in afghanistan, and as head of the c.i.a. by his own assessment, he did not meet the standards that he felt were necessary as the director of the c.i.a. with respect to this personal matter he's now dealing with with his family and with his
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wife. it's on that basis that he tendered his resignation and it's on that basis that i accepted it. but i want to emphasize that from my perspective at least, he has provided this country an extraordinary service. we are safer because of the work that dave petraeus has done and my main hope right now is that he and his family are able to move on and that this ends up being a single side note on what has otherwise been an extraordinary career. >> what about voters? do they deserve to know? >> i think you'll to sr. to talk to the f.b.i. in terms of what their yen protocols are when it comes to what started off as a potential criminal investigation. one of the challenges here is, is that we're not supposed to meddle in criminal
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investigations. that's been our practice. and i think that there are certain procedures that the f.b.i. follow or d.o.j. follow when they're involved in these investigations. that's traditionally been how we do thins in part because people are innocent until proven guilty and we want to make sure we don't prejudge these kinds of situations and so my expectation is that they follow protocols they already established. jessica? >> mr. president, on the fiscal cliff two years ago, sir you said you wouldn't extend the bush era tax cuts put at the end of the day you did. so respectfully, sir, why should the american people and the republicans believe that you won't cave again this time? >> well, two years ago, the economy was in a different
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situation. we were still very much in the early parts of recovering from the worst economic crisis since the great depression. and ultimately we came together not only to extend the bush tax cuts but also a wide range of policies that were going to be good for the economy at that point. unemployment insurance extensions, payroll tax extensions, all of which made a difference and is part of the reason why what we've seen now as 32 consecutive months of job growth and 5.5 million job crease ated and the unemployment rate coming down. but what i said at the time is what i meant. which is this was a one-time proposition. and what i have told leaders privately as well as publicly is that we cannot afford to
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extend the bush tax cuts for the wealthy. what we can do is make sure that middle class taxes don't go up. and so, the most important step we can take right now, and i think the foundation for a deal that helps the economy, creates gives consumers certainty is me right away say 98% of americans will not see their taxes go up. small businesses will not see their taxes go up. if we get back in place we're removing half of the fiscal cliff. half of the danger to our economy is removed by that single step. what we can then do is shape a process whereby we look at tax reform which i am very eager to do. we can simplify our tax system, we can make it more efficient.
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we can eliminate loopholes and deductions that have a distorting effect on our economy. i believe we have to continue to take a serious look at how we reform our intelligence -- our entitlements. there is a package to be shaped and i am confident that party's, folks of goodwill in both parties can make that happen but what i am not going to do is to extend bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% that we cannot afford and according to economists will have the least positive impact on our economy. prexy said the wealthiest must pay more. would closing loopholes instead of raising rates satisfy you? >> there will polls that can be closed and we should look at how
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we can make the process of deductions cliff, the filing process easier and simpler but when it comes to the top 2% but i'm not going to do is to extend further attacks cut for folks who do not need it which would cost close to $1 trillion. it is difficult to see how you make up that if we're serious about deficit reduction by closing loopholes and deductions. the math tends not to work. it is important to establish a -- a basic principle. this should not be a surprise. this was -- if there was one thing that everybody understood was a big difference between myself and mr. romney, it was when it comes to how we reduce our deficit i argued for a balanced responsible approach
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and that included making sure that the wealthiest americans pay more. every voter out there understood that that was an important debate and the majority of voters agreed with me. more voters agree with me on this issue then voted for me. we have a clear majority of the american people who recognize if we're serious about deficit reduction we have to do it in a balanced way. the question is why we going to hold the middle class hostage in order to go ahead and let that happen or can we step back and say here is something we agree on. we do not want middle-class taxes to go up. let's go ahead and lock that in. there would be good for the economy and good for consumers and it will be good for businesses. it takes the edge of the fiscal cliff and let's commit ourselves to the broader package of deficit reduction that includes entitlement changes and it includes tax reform as well as i
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am looking at additional work we can do on the discretionary spending side. i want a big deal, i want a comprehensive deal, i want to see if we can at least for the foreseeable future provide certain aid to businesses and the american people so we can focus on job growth so we're investing in the things that we need. right now what i want to make sure it is our middle class -- middle-class families to not -- we can get that done by next week. >> thank you. on immigration reform, the criticism has been that you did not put forth legislation with specific ideas and send it up to the hill. you have said this would be one of the top priorities for a second term.
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will you send legislation to the hill? what do you envision? is that include a legalization program? what lessons if anything have democrats learned from this election and the latino vote? >> what was encouraging is to see a significant increase in latino turnout. it is the fastest-growing group in the country. historically what you've seen is the latino vote at lower rates than the broader population and that is beginning to change. see a senseing to of empowerment that will be powerful and good for the country. and it is why i am confident we could get immigration reform done. before the election i had given
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interviews were predicted by the latino vote would be strong and that would cause some reflection on the part of republicans about their position on immigration reform. we're starting to see that already. it is a positive sign. this is not historically been a partisan issue. we have had president bush and john mccain and others who have supported comprehensive immigration reform. we need to seize the moment and my expectation is we get a bill introduced and we began the process in congress very soon after my inauguration. some conversations are taking place about what this would look like and what i say cumbria's of immigration reform, it is similar to the previous. it should include a continuation of the strong border security measures we have taken because we have to secure our borders.
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it should contain serious penalties for companies that are purposely hiring. undocumented workers and taking advantage of them. and i do think that there should be a pathway for legal status for those who are living in this country and are not engaged in criminal activity, are here to work. it is important for them to pay back taxes. it is important for them to learn english into pay a fine. to give them avenue whereby they can resolve their legal status here in this country is important. making sure that we put into law the first of we have taken, dealing with the dream act is important. one thing i'm clear about is some people who are brought here through no fault of their own
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plan to guard to school here and pledged allegiance to our flag and want to serve on another military of one to go to school and contribute to our society, they should be under -- out from under the cloud of deportation. there are other components to it. the business community continues to be concerned about getting enough high skilled workers and i am a believer that if you have a ph.d. in physics or computer science who wants to stay here and start a business here, we should not make it harder to stay here. we should encourage them to contribute. i think that the agricultural sector has a specific concerns about making sure they have a workforce that helps deliver food to our table. there are going to be a bunch of components to it but i think whatever process we have needs to make sure border security is
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strong and needs to do with employers effectively, needs to provide a pathway for the undocumented and needs to do with the dream act kids and i think that is something we can get done. tuck todd -- truck todd. >> i want to follow-up on the questions. >> what about lori's question? do you want to follow-up on that one? rec sedgefield can answer that one completely. are you withholding judgment on whether you should have known sooner if -- that there was an investigation into whether your cia director, there was a national security breach. do you believe he should have known sooner or are you withholding judgment until the investigation is complete on that front and the follow-up, tax rates. is there no deal that -- at the end of the year that tax rate are not the clinton tax rates.
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on that specific aspect. >> i am withholding judgment with respect to how the entire process surrounding general petraeus came up. we do not have all the information yet. but i want to say that i have a lot of confidence in the fbi. they have a difficult job. see.oing to wait and if there is any -- what i will say is it is possible that had we been told it would be sitting here asking a question about in ay we were interfering
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criminal investigation. with respect to the tax rates, i want to emphasize i am open to new ideas. if republican counterparts are some democrats have a great idea to raise revenue, maintain a person become a make sure that middle-class is now getting hit, reduces our deficit, and kyrgyz gross, i am not going to just slammed the door in their face. i want to hear ideas from everybody. look, i believe this is solvable. i think that fair minded people can come to an agreement that does not cause the economy to go back into recession, that protect middle-class families, that focuses on jobs and growth and reduces our deficit. i am confident it can be done.
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my budget does it. i understand -- i understand that -- i don't expect the republicans semply to adopt my budget, that's not realist in. i recognize we're going to have to compromise. as i said on election night, compromise is hard. and not everybody gets 100% of everybody they want. not everybody will be perfectly happy. but what i will not do is to have a process that is vague, that says, we're going to sort of kind of raise revenue through dynamic scoring or closing loopholes that have not been identified and the reason i won't do that is because i don't want to find ourselves in a position six months from now or a year from now where lo and behold the only way to close the deficit is to sock it to middle class families. or to burden families that have disabled kids or have a parent in a nursing home.
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or suddenly we've got to cut more out of our basic research budget that is the key to growing the economy in the long term. so that's my concern. i'm less concerned about red lines per se. what i'm concerned about is not finding ourselves in a situation where the wealthy aren't paying more or aren't paying as much as they should, middle class families one way or another are making up the difference. quo's the kind of status that has been going on here too long and that's exactly what i argued against during this campaign and if there's one thing that i'm confident about is the american people understood what they were getting when they gave me this incredible privilege of being in office for another four years. they want compromise. they want action. but they also want to make sure
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that middle class folks aren't bury -- bearing the entire burden and, sacrifice when it comes to big challenges. they expect that folks at the top are doing their fair share as well. that's going to be my biding principle during these negotiations, but more importantly during the next four years of my administration. >> mr. president, on election night you said you were looking forward to speaking with governor romney, sitting down in the coming weeks to discuss ways you could work together on this nation's problems have you extended that invitation? has he accepted? and what ways do you think you can work together? >> we haven't scheduled something yet. i think everybody forgets the election was only a week ago. forgoti've forgotten, i on wednesday. i think everybody needs to catch
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their breath. i'm sure that governor romney is spending time with his family. and my hope is before the end of the year, though, we have a chance to sit down and talk. there are certain aspects of governor romney's record and his ideas that i think could be very helpful. to give you one example, i think he did a terrific job running the olympics. and that skill set of trying to figure out how do we make something work better applies to the federal government. there are a lot of ideas that i don't think are partisan ideas but are just smart ideas about how can we make the federal government more customer friendly, how can we make sure that we're consolidating programs that are duplicative. how can we eliminate additional waste? he presented ideas in the course of the campaign that i agree
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with and so it would be interesting to talk to him about smog -- something like that. there may be ideas he has with respect to jobs and growth that can help middle class families that i want to hear. so i'm not either prejudges what he's interested in doing, nor am i suggesting i've got some specific assignment, but what i want to do is get ideas from him and see if there's some ways we can potentially work together. >> when it comes to your relationship with congress, one of the most frequent criticisms we've heard from members on both sides is you haven't done enough to reach out and build relationships. are there concrete ways you plan to approach your relationships with congress in the second term? >> look, i think there's no doubt that i can always do better. so i will examine ways that i can make sure to communicate my
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desire to work with everybody, so long as it's advancing the cause of strengthening our middle class and improving our economy. i've gotten a lot of good relationships with folks both in the house and senate. i have a lot of relationships on both sides of the aisle. it hasn't always manifested itself in the kind of agreements i'd like to see between democrats and republicans. so i think all of us have responsibilities to see if there are things we can improve on. i don't exempt myself from needing to do some self- reflection and see if i can improve our working relationship. there are probably going to be still some sharp differences. and as i said during the campaign, there are going to be times where there are fights and i think those are fights that
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need to be had. but what i think the american people don't want to see is a focus on the next election instead of a focus on them. and i don't have another election. and michelle and i were talking last night about what an incredible honor and privilege it is to be put in this position. and there are people all across this country, millions of folks who have work sod hard to help us get elected but there are also millions of people who may not have voted for us but are also counting on us. we take that responsibility very seriously. i take that responsibility very seriously. and i hope and intend to be an even better president in the second term than i was in the first. jonathan carl. >> thank you, mr. president.
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senator john mccain and senator lindsey graham said they want watergate-style hearings on benghazi and if you nominate susan rice to be secretary, they will do everything they can to stop that after her remarks on benghazi. >> i'm not going to comment on various nominations i'll put forward to fill out my cabinet for the second term. those are things that are still being discussed. but let me say specifically about susan rice. she has done exemplary work. she has represented the united states and our interests in the united nations with skill and
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professionalism and toughness and grace. as i've said before, she made an appearance at the request of the white house in which she gave her best understanding of the intelligence that had been provided to her. if senator mccain and senator graham and others want to go after somebody, they should go after me. and i'm happy to have that discussion with them. but for them to go after the u.n. ambassador who had nothing to do with benghazi and was simply making a presentation based on intelligence she had received, to besmirch her reputation is outrageous. we're after an election now. i think it is important for us to find out exactly what
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happened in benghazi and i'm happy to cooperate in any ways congress wants. we have provided every bit of information we have. and we will continue to provide information. and we've got a full blown investigation and all that information will be disgorged to congress. and i don't think there's any debate in this country that when you have four americans killed, that's a problem. and we've got to get to the bottom of it and there needs to be accountability. we've got to bring those who carried it out to justice. they won't get any debate from me on that. but when they go after the u.n. ambassador, apparently because they think she's an easy target, then they've got a problem with me. and should i choose, if i think that she would be the best
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person to serve america in the capacity of the state department then i will nominate her. that's not a determination i have made yet. ed henry. >> i want to take chuck's lead and ask a very small follow-up, whether you feel you have a mandate not just on taxes but a range of issues because of your decisive victory. i want to stay in benghazi because of what john asked you say, if they want to come after somebody, come after me. sean smith's father ray says he believes his son basically called 911 for help and didn't get it. i know you said you grieve for these four americans, that it's being investigated but the families have been waited for more than two months. i would like to -- for you to address the families if you can. on 9/11 as commander in chief did you issue any orders to protect their lives? >> ed, i'll address the families not through the press,
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i'll address the families directly as i already have. and we will provide all the information that is available about what happened on that day. that's what the investigation is for. but as i said repeatedly, if people don't think that we did everything we can to make sure that we saved the lives of folks who i sent there and who were carrying out missions on behalf of the united states, then you don't know how our defense department thinks or our state department thinks or our c.i.a. thinks. their number one priority is obviously to protect american lives. that's what our job is. ed, we're -- i'll put forward every bit of information we have. i can tell you that immediately upon finding out that our folks were in danger, that my orders
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to my national security team were, do whatever we need to do to make sure they're safe. and that's the same order that i would give any time that i see americans are in danger. whether they're civilian or military. because that's our number one priority. with respect to the issue of mandate, i've got one mandate. i've got a mandate to help middle class families and families that are working hard to try to get into the middle class. that's my mandate. that's what the american people said. they said work really hard to help us. don't worry about the politics of it. don't worry about the party interests. don't worry about the special interests. just work really hard to see if you can help us get ahead. because we're working really hard out here and we're still struggling a lot of us. that's my mandate.
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i don't presume that because i won an election that everybody suddenly agrees with me on everything. i'm more than familiar with all the literature about presidential overreach in second terms. we are very cautious about that. on the other hand, i didn't get re-elected just to bask in re- election. i got elected to do work on behalf of american families and small businesses all across the country who are still recovering from a really bad recession but are hopeful about the future. and i am too. the one thing that i said during the campaign, that maybe sounds like a bunch of campaign red rhetoric but now that the campaign is over, i'll repeat it and hope you believe me. when you travel around the
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country you are inspired by the grit and resilience and hard work an decency of the american people. it just makes you want to work harder. you meet families who are -- who have overcome really tough spots and are making it, sending their kids to college. and you meet young people who are doing incredible work in disadvantaged communities because they believe in, you know, the american ideal and it should be available for everybody and you meet farmers who are helping each other during types of drought and you meet businesses that kept their doors open during the recession even though the owner didn't have to take a salary, when you talk to these folks you say to yourself, man, they deserve a better government than they've been getting. they deserve all of us here in washington to be thinking everybody single day how can i make things better for them? which isn't to say that everything we do is going to be perfect or that there aren't just going to be some big, tough challenges we have to grapple
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with. but i do know the federal government can make a difference. we're seeing it right now on the jersey coast and in new york. people are still going through a tough time. the response hasn't been perfect. but it's been aggressive and strong and fast and robust and a lot of people have been helped because of it. and that's a pretty good metaphor for how i want the federal government to operate generally and i'm going to do everything i can to make sure it does. christy parson. >> thank you, mr. president. congratulations, by the way. >> when i was running for state senate, you were there. >> i was. >> christy and i go back a ways. >> i've never seen you lose. i wasn't looking that one time. >> there you go.
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>> one quick followup and then i want to ask you about iran. i just want to make sure you understood what you said. can you envision any scenario in which we do go off the fiscal cliff at the end of the year and on iran are you preparing a final diplomatic push here to resolve the nuclear program issue and are we headed toward one-on-one talks? >> obviously we can all imagine a scenario where we go off the fiscal cliff. if despite the election, if the spite -- if despite the dangers of going over the fiscal cliff and what that means for our economy, that there's too much stubbornness in congress that we can't even agree on giving middle class families a tax cut, then middle class families will all end up having a big tax hike. that will be a rude shock for them and i suspect will have a
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big impact on the holiday shopping season, which in turn will have an impact on business planning and hiring and we can go back into a recession. it would be a bad thing. it is not necessary. so i want to repeat. step number one that we can take in the next couple of weeks, provide certainty to middle class families, 98% of families who make less than $250,000 a year, 97% of small businesses that their taxes won't go up a single dime next year. give them that certainty right now. we can get that done. we can then set up a structure whereby we are dealing with tax reform, closing deductions, closing loopholes, simplifying, dealing with entitlements and i'm ready and willing to make big commitments to make sure we're locking in the kind of deficit reductions that stabilize our deficit, start bringing it down, start bringing down our debt.
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i'm confident we can do it. it's -- and look, i've been living with this for a couple of years now. i know the math pretty well. and it's -- it really is arithmetic. it's not calculus. there are some tough things that have to be done but there's a way of doing it that doesn't hurt middle class family that does not hurt our seniors, doesn't hurt families with disabled kids, allows taos continue to invest in those -- allows us to continue to invest in those things that make us grow, research, education, helping young people go to college. as we have heard from some republican commentators a modest tax increase on the wealthy is not going to break their backs. they'll still be wealthy. and it will not impinge on
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business investment. so we know how to do this. this is just a matter of whether or not we come together and go ahead and say, democrats and republicans, we're both going to hold hands and do what's right for the american people. and i hope that's what happens. with respect to iran, i very much want to see a diplomatic resolution to the problem. i was very clear before the campaign, i was clear during the campaign and i'm now clear after the campaign. we're not going to let iran get a nuclear weapon. but i think there's still a window of time for taos resolve this diplomatically. we've imposed the toughest sanctions in history. it is having an impact on iran's economy. there should be a way in which they can enjoy peaceful nuclear power while still meeting their international obligations and
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providing clear assurances to the international community that they're not pursuing a nuclear weapon. so yes, i will try to make a push in the coming months to see if we can open up a dialogue between iran and not just us but the international community to see if we can get this thing resolved. i can't promise that iran will walk through the door they need to walk through but that would be very much the preferable option. >> \[inaudible] >> i won't talk about the details on negotiations. i think it's fair to say that we want to get this resolved and we're not going to be constrained by diplomatic niceties or protocols. if iran is serious about wanting to resolve this, they'll be in a position to resolve it. >> at one point just prior to the election there was talk that talks might be imminent -- >> that was not true. and it's not true as of today. ok. just going to knock through a couple others. mark landers. where's mark? there he is right in front of
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me. >> thank you, mr. president. in his endorsement of you a few weeks ago, mayor bloomberg said he was motivated by the belief that you would do more to confront the threat of climate change than your opponent. tomorrow you're going up to new york city where you're going to, i assume, see people still suffering the effects of hurricane sandy which many people say is further evidence of how a warming globe is changing our weather. what specifically do you plan to do in a sec term to tackle the issue of climate change? and do you think the political will exists in washington to pass legislation that could include some kind of attacks on carbon? >> you know, as you know, mark, we can't attribute any particular weather event to climate change.
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what we do know is the temperature around the globe is increasing. faster than was predicted even 10 years ago. we do know that the arctic icecap is melting, faster than was predicted even five years ago. we do know there have been extraordinarily -- there have been an extraordinarily large number of severe weather events here in north america but also around the globe. and i am a firm believer that climate change is real, that it is impacting by human behavior and by carbon emissions and i think we have an obligation to future yen rations to do something about it. in hi first term, we doubled fuel efficiency standards on cars and trucks. that will have an impact. that will take a lot of carbon out of the atmosphere.
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we doubled the production of clean energy. which promises to reduce the utilization of fossil fuels for power generation. and we continue to invest in potential breakthrough technologies that could further remove carbon from our atmosphere. but we haven't done as much as we need to. so what i'm going to be doing over the next several weeks, next several months, is having a conversation a wide-ranging conversation with scientists, engineers, and elected officials to find out what more can we do to make short-term progress in reducing carbon and then working through an education process that i think is necessary, a discussion, a conversation across the country about what realistically can we do long-term to make sure that this is not something we're
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passing on to future generations that's going to be very expensive and very pain to feel deal with? i don't know what either democrats or republicans are prepared to do at this point. because this is one of those issues that is not just a partisan issue. i also think there's regional differences. there's no doubt that for us to take on climate change in a serious way, would involve making some tough political choices. and understandably, inthe american people right now have been so focused and will continue to be focused on our economy and jobs and growth that if the message is somehow, we're going to ignore jobs and growth, simply to address climate change, i don't think anybody is going to go for that. i won't go for that if on the other hand, we can shape an
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agenda that says we can create jobs, advance growth, and make a serious dent in climate change and be an international leader, i think that's something the american people would support. so you know, you can expect you'll hear more from me in the coming months and years about how we can shape an agenda that garners bipartisan support an helps move this agenda forward. >> you sound like you're saying -- \[inaudible] >> that i'm pretty certain of. look, we're still trying to
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debate whether we can just make sure middle class families don't get a tax hike. let's see if we can resolve that. that should be easy. this one is hard. but it's important. because one of the things we don't always factor in are the costs involved in these natural disasters. we just put them off as something that's unconnected to our behavior right now and i think what -- based on the evidence we're seeing is that what we do now is going to have an impact and a cost down the road if we don't do something about it. all right. last question. mark. >> thank you, mr. president. the assaad regime is engaged in a brutal crackdown on its people. france has recognized the opposition coalition. what would it fake for the united states to do the same and is there any point at which the united states would consider arming the rebels? >> i was one of the first leaders around the world to say assaad had to go. in response to the incredible brutality that his government displayed in the face of what
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were initially peaceful protests. obviously the situation in syria has deteriorated since then. we have been engaged to help the opposition. we have committed to hundreds of millions of dollars of humanitarian aid to help folks both inside of syria and outside of syria. we are constantly consulting with the opposition on how they can get organized so that they're not splinters and divided in the face of the onslaught from the assaad regime. we are in very close contact with countries like turkey and jordan that immediately border syria and have an impact and obviously israel which is having already grave concerns as we do about, for example, movements of chemical weapons that might occur in such a chaotic
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atmosphere. and they could have an impact not just within syria but on the reas a whole. i'm encouraged to see that the syrian opposition created an umbrella group that may have more cohesion than they had in the past. we're going to be talking to them, my envoys are going to be traveling to various meetings taking place with the international community and the opposition. we consider them a legitimate representative of the aspirations of the syrian people. tore not yet prepared recognize them as some sort of government in exile. but we do think it is it's a broad-based representative group. one of the questions we're going to continue to express is making sure that that opposition is
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committed to a democratic syria, an inclusive syria, a moderate syria. we have seen extremist elements insinuate themselves into the opposition. and one of the things that we have to be on gourd about, particularly when with start talking about arming opposition, -- opposition figures is that we're not indirectly putting arms in the hands of folks who would do americans harm or do israelis harm or otherwise engage in actions that are detrimental to our national security. so we're constantly probing and working on that issue, the more engaged we are in the more we'll be in a position to make sure that we are encouraging the most moderate, thoughtful elements of the opposition that are committed to inclusion, observance of human rights and working cooperatively with us over the long-term. all right? thank you very much. >> \[inaudible] >> that was a great question, but it would be a horrible
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precedent for me to answer your question just because you yelled it out. so thank you very much guys. oehner.ker john bann >> >> republicans are humbled by the confidence the american people placed in our house
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majority and we're united and focusing on their top priority which is jobs. i'm proud of my leadership colleagues who have been elected to serve our leaders in the next congress and while we have some the returning to the leadership, we have new members and you get to hear from them in a moment. our majority is the primary line of defense against the government. it's been too much and roast to much when left unchecked. i have outlined a framework for how both parties can work together to over the fiscal cliff without raising tax rates. a combination of pro-growth tax reform and entitlement reform, we can bring jobs home and make our economy stronger. with so many challenges that are ahead of us, the american people at courageouslya and lead boldly.
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our majority is of to the task and i expect the president is as well. >> afternoon. we went through a tough week last week as a party but clearly, the house majority is intact and we're strong. i have never been prouder of my colleagues that i am for having stood strong for the things we believe in. especially i am proud of our colleague paul ryan. the kind of solutions oriented agenda we have been about the last two years. as the speaker said, we stand together ready to do what is right by the people of this country to extend our hand and say we want to help those who are in trouble, those who are having tough times and we want to help people in this country get back to work. we're going to be about their results oriented majority just as we have been and what
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solutions that did pat -- people back to work. what solutions that will save medicare from those who -- for those who need it. we're making sure there is solutions in place for the challenges people are facing. that is why we say we want to work with you on solutions. we do not understand why raising tax rates is the solution if you want to see people get back to work. the speaker has extended his hand and said we want to work with you. we understand that he won reelection as did we and we want to go forward together in cooperation to solve the problem, not just posture. >> is is an honor to serve one more time. the majority of smaller but is still the second largest republican majority since world war ii. elections are over, it is time to get back to work. we have a new leadership team, a diverse team.
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we have accounts, college presidents, it is a unique team. it is a team that is ready to put america first and that is what we're looking forward to do. we're looking -- willing to work across the aisle with those who want to work with us. we want to put people before politics and that is what this leadership team will do. >> we stand before you today as the newly elected leadership team for the republicans for the 113th congress and it is a team that represents every corner of this country, comes from all different experiences and backgrounds and we are committed to moving this country forward, to getting america back to work, to solving the fiscal crisis that faces the federal budget and being part of the seas -- solution going forward. that is our goal as we approach the 113th congress. >> i'm humbled to be on the stage with these folks today and
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honored to serve as the conference vice chair and as a mama with a 21-year-old and 18- year-old, jobs and the economy is going to be our main focus. the lasting one for them is to graduate from college and come with in my basement. i am pleased that house republicans have run to the problems of the day and with our budget solutions, our job solutions and you can count on this leadership team and the republican conference to continue. we look forward to negotiating throughout the next two months. >> you have heard people use the words team, working together, and solutions. those are going to be our mantra. we want to help the american people get back on their feet through creating jobs and for us to work together to do that.
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we are solution-driven and that is the direction we will be going. >> i think throughout this nation from south carolina and washington state, we have many members of congress who are looking forward to move this country forward. they aren't thinking of republicans and democrats but feeding their families and making ends meet. you have a leadership team here who understands and appreciates the necessity of getting that accomplished. >> i'm greg walden, second district, elected as chairman of the new congressional republican committee. we suffered some losses as well and some of our colleagues will not be returning. but we have the second largest margin in the house since world war ii. back-to-back, biggest margins republicans have had. our goal going forward is to solve the american people's problems and find solutions here in washington and grow our majority in 2014. we can get it done and intend to do it.
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>> my new job after leaving the national republican congressional committee, i have been asked to be chairman of the rules committee. it is my job to work with chairman boehner and all the chairmen of our conference including our great majority leader and our whip on having legislation that the american people well understand and see that we will produce legislation that is prepared for them to add jobs to make this country better and make it stronger. i look forward to this challenge. thank you. >> i'm the policy committee chairman. this republican conference is known for ideas and solutions. it's not personality-driven but on a set of solutions that the
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american people can look at and say that will fix the problem. work with outside groups, people on committees, whoever has the best ideas, they will pull those things together and provide solutions for the american people and that's what we are focused on. there are issues on a wide variety of things that need to be taken on this session and pull those ideas together and solve them. >> speaker boehner, the president said -- bush tax cuts for families making $250,000, give sernts to business and deal with the rest of the fiscal cliff, why not do that? >> instead of the house moving on the senate bill, the senate ought to move on the house bill. there are a lot of issues on the table that have to be resolved by the end of the year and i think i have laid out a
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reasonable framework where both parties can work together and i'm looking forward to go to the white house on friday and beginning our conversations. >> is there a reason you can agree on that, at least, that you can't just knock that out right away? >> the issue is, we aren't going to hurt our economy and make job creation more difficult, which is exactly what that plan would do. it's not the direction that we want to go because it's going to hurt job creators in america. yes, ma'am. >> thank you, mr. speaker. \[laughter] >> my question for you is, given that the president has stated his position in going
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forward in these negotiations, you have your positions, how do you anticipate the whole process to unfold on friday? what do you expect to hear from the president and the difference of what he said today? >> if you look closely what the president had to say and look closely what i had to say, there are no barriers here to sitting down and beginning to work through this process. i don't think anyone on either side of the aisle underestimates the difficulties that faces us. the spirit of cooperation you have seen over the last week from myself and my team, from democrats across the aisle, from the president, have created an atmosphere where i think that i remain optimistic. i was born with the glass half full. if i hadn't been, i sure wouldn't be here. >> mr. speaker, the president made it very clear in his desire to have the wealthiest americans pay more taxes. now, leaving tax rates off to the side, do you think the those making above $250,000 --? >> i look forward to my conversations with the president. >> my question is for leader cantor.
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i wanted to ask you about the f.b.i. tipster that came forward to you about general petraeus, what did he tell you and do you have any questions about his credibility given he sent a shirtless picture? >> all i'm going to say, i received information from an individual that i had not met before and did not know the information that was sent to me sounded as if there was a potential for a national security vulnerability. i had no way of corroborating the story that i was told and felt the best thing to do at the time was not to politicize it but to put national security first and that's why i turned to director mueller's office to
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ask them to do their job and assume that the f.b.i. would comply with its obligations to keep us on the hill informed once it was determined whether an investigation was necessary or a crime had been committed. >> just a comment \[inaudible] >> senator mccain wants a watergate sort of probe into this matter, would you get behind these types of >> i think the standing committees of the house, the oversight committee or the intelligence committee are working diligently on these issues. and at this point, i think that's appropriate. >> you violated the rules.
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sorry. >> are you at all concerned that there are some in the democratic party that would like to replicate the situation something comparable to the payroll tax last year and inflict political pain. >> did you say democrats? >> yes. >> members on both sides of the aisle have ideas about how to resolve this. and some are more interested in politics. if we stay focused on what's the best interest of our country and to the american people, i'm confident that this issue can be resolved.
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>> secretary geithner said he didn't think you could raise enough revenue merely by capping itemized deductions to reach the revenue goal. give us an idea here of what >> no, i'm not. >> can you tell us what the math is? >> there are ways to put revenue on the table without increasing tax rates. we have talked about this now for over a year. there are all kinds of information and data out there, but getting into the specifics of that at this point would not be conducive to try and come to agreement with the white house. >> last question. >> the payroll tax cut is part of the fiscal cliff. is that something you feel should be renewed here at the end of the year? >> there are a dozens of issues that have to be dealt with at
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the end of the year, that being one of them. a lot of this will take place beginning on friday in our conversation with the president. thanks. >> nancy pelosi is seeking another term. her announcement came during a news conference. this is half an hour.
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>> i think that most of them are here. good morning. more are coming. yesterday, when we gathered here i began my comments standing here with our new members of congress by saying a picture is worth a thousand words. that is what they say. i said then and i say now that this picture before you is worth millions of votes.
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millions of votes. [applause] millions of women's votes that it took to reelect president barack obama. [applause] thatons of women's votes helped us elect a record number of women to the congress of the united states. as you look forward, understand that you are looking into the future. the future of empowerment of women in america. we saw some of these faces yesterday among the new members elect. i said then that they were part of the most diverse caucus in the history of the world, the first time a parliamentary body would have a party who had a majority of women and minorities. minorities.

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